Pope Joan gets new Director
Soenke Wortmann is the next Director to helm Pope Joan after Volker Schloendorff was sacked from the production last month. The film is based on the novel by Donna Woolfolk Cross (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) that retells the ninth-century tale of a woman who disguises herself as a man and climbs to the papal throne.
The film has not had an easy ride, it was first set to be made some seven years ago and was initially postponed because John Goodman left the production. The production company then filed a lawsuit against Goodman and that obviously tied things up until now.
According to the story in Variety the original Director, Volker Schloendorff, publicly denounced the practice of simultaneously making a film and an extended TV version at the same time. As soon as Schloendorff said this the sacking commenced and was dismissed six weeks before the filming began. Not surprisingly, Constantin Film are making an extended TV version of the film. Now Soenke Wortmann is on the project, and it doesn't appear to be a negative move.
One of my favourite actors Franke Potente is set to star in Pope Joan, as the woman who heads up that male only ladder. I recently saw her in The Shield final episodes (ends this week and I'm seriously distraught) and I thought she was fab. She's well worth a look in Elementarteilchen (Atomised) (Filmstalker review) and Run Lola, Run (if you haven't seen that yet).
This film doesn't sound much of a challenge for her, but I do wonder what the religious zealots will make of this story when it arrives.