Steven Spielberg is looking for a young boy to play the lead role in a historical drama he's preparing to direct about a Jewish boy in Bologna, Italy, in 1858 who is forcibly taken from his family to be raised as a Christian.
"The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara," based on the 1997 book of the same name, details his parents' struggle to free their son, which becomes part of a larger political battle that pits the Papacy against forces of democracy and Italian unification.
Amblin Entertainment has scheduled an open casting call in Los Angeles for Sunday, Jan. 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at American Jewish University's Colen Conference Hall, 15600 Mulholland Drive.
Casting directors will be searching for a 6- to 9-year-old — "someone truly special, gifted, curious and intelligent with a mischievous streak" — to portray a Jewish and Italian boy in the film that will begin shooting in Europe in April. No accent is needed, they say.
Academy Award winner Mark Rylance ("Bridge of Spies") will co-star in the historical drama based on the book by Pulitzer Prize winner David Kertzer, which was adapted for the screen by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner.