Pope Francis is expected to appear in a spiritual children’s film, Beyond the Sun, making him the very first pope to ever star in a movie.
Italian production and finance group AMBI Pictures announced the leader of the Catholic Church will play as himself in the gospel feature film, having inspired the movie’s creation when he asked the filmmakers to make a children’s movie about Christ’s teachings.
The motion picture features children from different cultures emulating the apostles as they travel the world searching for the messiah.
The announcement of the new project led some to call this the pope's debut as a movie actor; however, a Vatican spokesperson denied this statement and the website itself claims “the film ends with an epilogue from Pope Francis telling children how and where to find Jesus.”
AMBI co-founders Andrea Iervolino and Lady Monika Bacardi will start filming later in 2016 in Italy, and all proceeds from the film will be donated to Argentinean charities to aid at-risk children and young adults.
“This is not just a movie for us, it’s a message, and who better to have on your side to deliver an important societal and spiritual message than the pope," Iervolino said in a statement. “This movie will provide funds to support extremely worthwhile causes that we take very seriously. This message and cause are very dear to the entire AMBI family and we are honored and inspired by the level of collaboration from the Vatican.”
This isn’t the first time the pontiff has expressed his interest in the entertainment industry. In November, the Pope released a pop-rock album, titled Wake Up! featuring his sacred hymns and some of his most moving speeches in multiple languages. Just a few weeks ago, the pope granted audience to Leonardo DiCaprio to discuss climate change.