Jude Law and Diane Keaton are starring in Oscar-winner Paolo Sorrentino’s The Young Pope, the eight-episode series that tells the fictional story of the beginning of the Pontificate of Pius XIII, an Italian-American born Lenny Belardo. Production on the Sky, HBO and Canal Plus drama began last week with the full cast now set.
James Cromwell is in as Cardinal Michael Spencer, Lenny’s mentor. Silvio Orlando (The Caiman) is set as Secretary of State Cardinal Voiello; Scott Shepherd (And So It Goes) will play Cardinal Dussolier; and Belgian actress Cécile de France (The Kid With A Bike) will play Sofia, who is in charge of marketing in Vatican City. Talk To Her‘s Javier Cámara is set to play Cardinal Gutierrez, Vatican City Master of Ceremonies; Swimming Pool‘s Ludivine Sagnier is Esther, the wife of a Swiss guard; and Toni Bertorelli (Passion Of The Christ) has been cast as Cardinal Caltanissetta.
Sorrentino, who won the Foreign Language Oscar for The Greaty Beauty and helmed this year’s Cannes entry Youth, is directing all eight episodes of The Young Pope.
Law is Pius XIII/Lenny with Keaton as Sister Mary, a nun from the U.S. The plot centers on the controversial story of the beginning of Pius’ Pontificate. A complex and conflicted character, he is a man of great power who’s stubbornly resistant to the Vatican courtiers, unconcerned with the implications on his authority.
Sorrentino says the series will cover “The clear signs of God’s existence. The clear signs of God’s absence. How faith can be searched for and lost. The greatness of holiness, so great as to be unbearable when you are fighting temptations and when all you can do is to yield to them. The inner struggle between the huge responsibility of the Head of the Catholic Church and the miseries of the simple man that fate (or the Holy Spirit) chose as Pontiff. Finally, how to handle and manipulate power in a state whose dogma and moral imperative is the renunciation of power and selfless love towards one’s neighbor.”
Additional cast members include: Guy Boyd, Andre Gregory, Sebastian Roché, Marcello Romolo, Ignazio Oliva, Vladimir Bibic and Nadie Kammalaweera.
Italy’s Wildside is producing with Haut et Court TV (The Returned) and Mediapro. Executive Producers for Wildside are Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani together with John Lyons. Executive Producers for Haut et Court TV are Caroline Benjo, Carole Scotta and Simon Arnal.