Paolo Sorrentino’s The Young Pope making its way to screens soon
by Camillo De Marco
- The eagerly awaited mini-series by the Italian Oscar winner will hit TV screens in October; it is an international co-production between Italy, the UK, the USA, France and Spain, and stars Jude Law
“Who are you?” “I am a contradiction.” Promising provocative and shocking surprises in the cocoon-like surroundings of the Vatican, The Young Pope, the eagerly awaited TV mini-series by Italian Oscar winner Paolo Sorrentino, will be broadcast from October by Sky Atlantic in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany, by HBO in the USA and by Canal+ in France.
The immaculate shoes of the Pope are filled by Jude Law, who plays Lenny Belardo in the series, a full-on pontiff who goes by the name of Pius XIII, the first US Pope in the history of the Catholic Church. In the teaser trailer, which is distinctly “Sorrentinian” and unsettling, we see him smoking intensely, lost in his own thoughts, in what the director has described as a controversial show about faith and how people “handle and manipulate power”. “Who are you, Lenny?” he is asked in the teaser. “I am a contradiction. I’m God: one in three and three in one. Like Mary Virgin the Mother, like man good and evil,” he replies. “What do you intend to do?” he’s questioned. “Revolution.”
We therefore see the makings of a young Pope who is simultaneously uncertain and steadfast, old-school but very modern, wry and unscrupulous, undertaking a long journey of human solitude. Alongside the beguiling London-born actor, the stellar cast of The Young Pope includes Diane Keaton in the role of Sister Mary, an American nun living in Vatican City, who brought Lenny up and helped him to attain the papacy; Silvio Orlando, as Cardinal Voiello, Vatican City’s Secretary of State; James Cromwell, as Cardinal Michael Spencer, Lenny’s mentor; Sebastian Roché, who plays Cardinal Michel Marivaux; Cécile de France, as Sofia, the Vatican’s head of marketing; Javier Cámara, as Cardinal Gutiérrez, Vatican City’s Master of Ceremonies; Daniel Vivian, who plays Domen, the Pope’s butler; and Toni Bertorelli, as Cardinal Caltanissetta.
The Young Pope is an international co-production between Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States and France, produced by Wildside, and co-produced by Haut et Court TV and Mediapro. The executive producers for Wildside are Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani, in addition to John Lyons. Those for Haut et Court TV are Caroline Benjo, Carole Scotta and Simon Arnal, and those for Mediapro are Jaume Roures and Javier Mendez. The Young Pope is being co-produced by HBO and Sky.
(Translated from Italian)