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Steven Spielberg adds religious drama 'Edgardo Mortara' to his slate

As Steven Spielberg continues to take his time pondering his follow-up to 2012's "Lincoln," the director has added another movie project to his plate, the religious drama "The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara," according to a Variety report.

Spielberg plans to produce and may direct "Edgardo Mortara," which would be a co-production between DreamWorks and the Weinstein Co., but it will not be his next project, the report says.

Based on David Kertzer's nonfiction book, the film will tell the true story of an Italian Jewish boy who in 1858 was taken from his parents by authorities in the Papal States and raised as a Catholic; he later became an Augustinian priest. 

Tony Kushner, who wrote the screenplays for Spielberg's previous historical dramas "Lincoln" and "Munich," is in the early stages of adapting the book. 

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News of the project once again raises the question of when Spielberg will get back behind the camera, and for which film.

Post-"Lincoln," he has been linked to several movies. The director originally intended to make "Robopocalypse," an adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson's book about a futuristic war between robots and humans, but put the project on hold in January 2013. Variety says a rewrite has since been completed.

Earlier this year, reports linked Spielberg to a historical epic about the Spanish conquistador Cortez based on a 50-year-old script by "Spartacus" scribe Dalton Trumbo, with a rewrite by Steve Zaillian ("Schindler's List").

One more potential project for Spielberg, though unlikely as his next movie, is another presidential drama, based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book "The Bully Pulpit" (Kearns also wrote "Team of Rivals," which became the basis for "Lincoln").

Spielberg is said to be itching to get back in the director's chair, and one thing is clear: He has no shortage of choices to do so.


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