VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCEMeeting with movie stars must have given Pope Francis the acting bug, because the pontiff is set to make his acting debut in a new, religious-themed movie.

Variety reports that His Holiness will play himself in the flick, called "Beyond the Sun," which is described as "a family adventure based on the Gospels." This will be the first time that any pope has appeared in a feature film.

According to the trade, the pope personally asked filmmakers "to make a movie that communicated Jesus' message to children." All proceeds from the movie will go Argentinean charities El Alemendro and Los Hogares de Cristo, which assist at-risk children and young adults.

"Our excitement and gratitude toward His Holiness, Pope Francis participating in this film is beyond words," said Andrea Iervolino, co-producer of the project, in a statement. "This is not just a movie for us, it's a message, and who better to have on your side to deliver an important societal and spiritual message than the Pope."

Production is expected to start in Italy early this year.

[via: Variety]

Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images