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‘Wings Of Desire’ & ‘Downfall’ Star Bruno Ganz Is The Pope…In Ridley Scott’s Pilot ‘The Vatican’

'Wings Of Desire' & 'Downfall' Star Bruno Ganz Is The Pope...In Ridley Scott's Pilot 'The Vatican'

Over a storied and celebrated career, actor Bruno Ganz has logged time with a handful of famed filmmakers including Eric Rohmer, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders and more, and is perhaps best known for his roles in international hits like “Wings Of Desire” (directed by the latter) and “Downfall.” And now, it looks like he’s found another role that could gain him all kinds of attention thanks to nothing more than some good timing.

Ridley Scott has cast the actor in “The Vatican,” the pilot he’s directing for Showtime (he’s also producing the series). Tackling the current hot button, headline grabbing topic of the Catholic Church, the show will center on Kyle Chandler‘s  Cardinal Thomas Duffy, a charismatic and progessive Archbishop of New York, and the various political maneuverings within the halls of power. And it seems it will go all the way to Rome with Ganz to play the fictional Pope Sixtus, who is battling his own legacy, and how his actions as the head of the organization will be remembered.

It sounds like potent stuff, and the cast’s supporting players are strong with Brit actress Anna Friel (“The Look Of Love,” “Pushing Daisies“) also on board as Duffy’s hard-partying, not so God-fearing sister, Matthew Goode (recently starring in the Scott-produced “Stoker“) as Papal Secretary Bernd Koch and Sebastian Koch (the bad guy in “A Good Day To Die Hard“) playing Cardinal Marco Malerba.

Production starts next month in Rome and this is one we’ll definitely be keeping our eyes on as a potential breakout drama to set up our DVRs for. [EW/Deadline]

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