The Vatican is disputing a U.S. film studio's claim that the pope is making his movie debut, saying no scenes were shot for the venture and that the pope isn't an actor.

Los Angeles-based AMBI Pictures headlined its press release: "Film Will Mark First Ever Big Screen Participation Role for the Leader of the Worldwide Catholic Church."

Monsignor Dario Vigano, the head of the Vatican's communications operation, acknowledged that he couldn't exclude that the filmmakers got hold of some clips of the pope. But in comments broadcast on Vatican Radio on Tuesday, Vigano disputed the press release claiming that Francis would "play himself" in the film "Beyond the Sun."

He said: "The pope is not an actor."