Spielberg Has Competition As Rival Edgardo Mortara Movie Emerges At Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein isn't afraid of a little competition, especially when it comes to adding awards to his trophy case. This year The Weinstein Company has a possible contender in Lion, Garth Davis' Dev Patel-led film about a man from India who goes in search of the family he was separated from as a child. But looking ahead to next year they've found what may be their next big movie, and if it sounds familiar it's for a good reason.

Weinstein has long been developing a movie about Edgardo Mortara, a young Jewish boy who in 1858 is taken  from his family, raised to be Catholic, and eventually becomes a priest in the Augustinian order. The film would be based on the book, "The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara", by author David I. Kertzer. Well they are finally ready to move on it, with Baltasar Kormakur (Everest) eyeing the director's chair and Robert De Niro circling a role as Pope Pius IX.

Here's the thing: Steven Spielberg has already begun production on his own take on the true-life tale, with Mark Rylance and Oscar Isaac set to star. Both projects hope to start shooting in 2017 but clearly Spielberg is ahead of the game. Weinstein has yet to name a star or director, although he does have a script by Jeremy Brock, writer of The Last King of Scotland.

So the race is on, and likely there won't be room for two movies on the same subject to succeed, especially if we're talking about awards hopefuls. [THR]