Pope Joan anoints a new director

Soenke Wortmann steps in

It’s time to revisit one of our favourite ongoing troubled movies because Constantin Film, which for seven years has been struggling to bring the adaptation of Donna Cross 1997 medieval novel Pope Joan to the screen, might have finally caught a break.

After John Goodman ditched the film, delaying its original start date and launching a lawsuit against, the company had more trouble when original director Volker Schloendorff was shown the door for rejecting the demand to shoot a longer version of the movie for use on TV.

Now Constantin has locked in Soenke Wortmann to handle the directing job for the movie that will unspool the ninth-century legend of a woman (Franke Potente) disguised as a man who becomes pope.

Wortmann’s recent big films to date have both been about football, so we wonder whether Potente will have to brush up on her tackling skills for his vision of the film. Still, if he shoots, Constantin scores, so the whole company will be crossing its corporate fingers that filming will actually kick off early next year. Yes, two football jokes in one sentence. We’re that good. Or cheesy. Take yer pick.

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