It was directed by Michael Anderson and has a cast which includes Liv Ullmann (in the lead role), Olivia de Havilland, Lesley-Anne Down, Franco Nero and Maximilian Schell. The soundtrack was composed by Maurice Jarre with additional choral music provided by The Sistine Chapel Choir, directed by Domenico Bartolucci.
The film was released on DVD in 2003 on Region 1 format disc. It was also re-titled in some areas as The Devil's Imposter, with much material cut.
The version of the film released in 1972 differed significantly from the version that had originally been filmed. Anderson's original was made with flashbacks and flash-forward sequences about a modern-day evangelical preacher who believes her life parallels that of Pope Joan. In this version psychiatrists try to send her back through her past lives to establish if she is the reincarnation of Pope Joan. However, the distributor decided to have all of the contemporary sequences removed and released the film as a straightforward historical drama. In 2009 the film was re-edited and the previously unreleased footage was re-inserted. It was re-released under the title She… Who Would Be Pope.