After pro-longed negotiations, Jude Law has officially been set as the lead in The Young Pope, Paolo Sorrentino’s 8 episode miniseries about the first American Pope. US premium cable network HBO has also boarded the project and will co-produce alongside Sky and Canal+. Sky Atlantic will air the series in the UK.
The Young Pope tells the story of Pius XIII (Law), the first American pope who so conservative in his choices as to border on obscurantism, yet full of compassion towards the weak and poor. A man of great power who is stubbornly resistant to the Vatican courtiers, he is unconcerned with the implications to his authority. During the series, Belardo will face losing those closest to him and the constant fear of being abandoned, even by his God. A man who is however not afraid of undertaking the millennial mission of defending that same God and the world representing him.
In addition to directing every single episode, Paolo Sorrentino is also penning The Young Pope alongside Umberto Contarello, Stefano Rulli and Tony Grisoni. Wildside and Haut et Court TV – the French indie behind The Returned (AKA Les Revenants) – are producing, with Lorenzo Mieli, Mario Gianani, John Lyons, Caroline Benjo, Carole Scotta and Simon Arnal executive producing.
The Young Pope is set to film in Italy, the United States, Africa and Puerto Rico. Production begins this Summer for a 2016 premiere. For HBO this is the latest international production they have boarded as a co-producer this past year. They previously boarded the BBC’s JK Rowling drama The Casual Vacancy and they are also circling the TV adaptation of Rowling’s Cormoran Strike novels, which is also set up at BBC One.