Lord of the Rings” franchise star Viggo Mortensen is in negotiations to star in Myriad Pictures’ “Borgia” for director Neil Jordan and Imagemovers. The project aims to go into production in the summer.

The historical drama, set in the 15th century, follows the corrupt Borgia family that includes siblings Lucretia and Cesare and their father Roderigo, who went on to become Pope Alexander VI and ran the 16th century Vatican as a crime syndicate. Mortensen will play Cesare, a hypocritical priest who plunders the nation to further his family’s power.

Imagemovers’ Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey are producing along with Jordan’s producing partner Stephen Woolley. Myriad co-presidents Kirk D’Amico and Philip Von Alvensleben will executive produce with Myriad production president Lucas Foster.

Myriad, which is financing the $55 million picture through international sales, is retaining worldwide distribution rights to “Borgia.” ICM, which reps Jordan, is handling North American distribution rights for Myriad.

Mortensen, repped by CAA and manager Lynn Rawlins, will star in the next two installments of New Line’s “Lord of the Rings” franchise — “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King.” His credits include “28 Days,” “A Walk on the Moon,” “G.I. Jane” and “Portrait of a Lady.”