John Goodman back in "Pope Joan" after lawsuit

Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:09pm EDT
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By Scott Roxborough

BERLIN (Hollywood Reporter) - John Goodman has rejoined the cast of the medieval epic "Pope Joan," after producers sued him last year when he dropped out to take a supporting role in "Speed Racer."

The former "Roseanne" star was among the first actors cast for Sonke Wortmann's adaptation of Donna W. Cross' best-seller, which has been plagued by production headaches.

Original star Franka Potente was replaced by Johanna Wokalek in the lead role, and producer Constantin Film fired first-choice director Volker Schlondorff in favor of Wortmann.

Constantin sued Goodman in April 2007 for breach of contract but continued to negotiate with the actor in the hopes he would rejoin the project, a strategy that seems to have worked. Both sides have agreed to decline comment on the suit.

He will play Pope Sergius, and will be joined by David Wenham ("300"), who plays Gerold, the lover of the titular female pontiff. With cast and crew finally in place, "Pope" is set to begin shooting next month in Germany and Morocco for a 2009 release.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

<p>Actors Roseanne Barr (L) and John Goodman, stars of the TV series "Roseanne", accept the Innovator Award at the taping of the 6th annual TV Land Awards in Santa Monica June 8, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>