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Selection of Pope Francis gives movie companies some ideas

March 14, 2013|By Steven Zeitchik
  • A scene from Nanni Moretti's "We Have a Pope."
A scene from Nanni Moretti's "We Have a Pope."

Where there's white smoke, there's fire.

The selection of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the next pontiff, Pope Francis, has some in the entertainment business thinking creatively.

IFC Films' Sundance Selects, the company that released Nanni Moretti's Italian-language "We Have a Pope" a year ago, will bring back the movie theatrically, taking it out for a run of at least one week at New York's Lincoln Plaza Cinema.

FULL COVERAGE: Sundance 2013

The company has also been engaged in a social media campaign for the fictional feature, which looks at the very timely subject of the papal conclave.

As you may recall, "We Have a Pope” (original title: "Habemus Papam") centers on what happens when a cardinal is selected to be the next pope and, rather than step out to the faithful on St. Peter's Square, asks out of the job. Much of the film focuses on his trying to wriggle free of the Holy See, which must go into spin mode.

That's probably not happening with Pope Francis. But still.

The film is out on DVD, and IFC is hoping that the renewed interest in all things papal offers a sales bump.

PHOTOS: Sundance 2013 portraits by The Times

Meanwhile, as word of the white smoke filled the Internet on Wednesday, Sony Pictures’ home entertainment unit sent out a news release suggesting some potential news pegs.

"The Growing Anticipation in Rome for the Papal Conclave Makes This an Ideal Time to Revisit 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Angels & Demons,'" it said, referring to the Tom Hanks Vatican-themed thrillers.

"While the Conclave of Cardinals are locked within the Vatican to elect the new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, the rest of the world can watch two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks, Academy Award winner Ron Howard and bestselling author Dan Brown," it said.

Well, it would have beaten Twitter jokes, anyway.


Pope Francis is known as an austere modernizer

Pope Francis, a New World pontiff, faces old challenges

Did 'We Have a Pope' foretell the resignation of Pope Benedict?

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