Screen veteran Robert De Niro is to begin work on a film where he plays a priest in the Spanish Inquisition.

The Taxi Driver great will star alongside Harvey Keitel and Kathy Bates in movie THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY, set in 18th century colonial Peru.

It will be the third time De Niro has portrayed a man of the cloth - he was a priest in the 1986 movie The Mission and again in 1996's SLEEPERS.

Work is due to commence today (04APR03) in the southern Spanish city of Malaga on the flick, which is based on Thornton Wilder's 1927 PULITZER PRIZE-winning novel.