Last year, hot off the success of “The Great Beauty,” you may have forgotten that director Paolo Sorrentino had already started to make his move toward television. It was announced he would write and direct an eight-episode TV series titled “The Young Pope.” Not much has been heard about it since then, but a year later, things are now moving forward and the lead for the show has been found.
Jude Law takes the title role in the show that will track the controversial story of the beginning of PIUS XIII’s Pontificate, who was born Lenny Belardo. He’s a complex and conflicted character, so conservative in his choices as to border on obscurantism, yet full of compassion towards the weak and poor. He is a man of great power who is stubbornly resistant to the Vatican courtiers, 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. However, he is a man not afraid of undertaking the millennial mission of defending that same God and the world representing Him.
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TV giants Sky, HBO and Canal+ will all join forces to co-produce the series which starts shooting this summer in Italy, and will continue into 2016, with locations in the United States, Africa and Puerto Rico. We’re always for auteurs being given bit canvases and lots of money to play with, and Sorrentino tackling a story of power and faith is intriguing. And while we’re waiting, he has his next feature, “Youth,” on the way, which premieres soon at Cannes. Stay tuned for our review.