Italian media went pazzo over the weekend with rumors that Jude Law was being lined up as a fictional Italo-American pontiff in Paolo Sorrentino’s upcoming mini The Young Pope. A source confirms the British actor is in negotiations for the titular part, but says it’s early days. The Young Pope is an eight-episode series to be written by the Oscar-winning Great Beauty helmer along with Umberto Contarello and Stefano Rulli for Sky Italia. Italy’s Wildside is producing.
The story follows a fictional pope who is the first Italian-American in history to hold the post, and examines his fears, conflicts, struggles, and the search for meaning and the need for love. It will take place betweeen Vatican City, the U.S. and Africa; and partially be shot at Rome’s Cinecittà. Wildside’s Lorenzo Mieli has compared the protagonist of The Young Pope to such complex TV characters as Tony Soprano, Walter White and Frank Underwood.
Italian series have ramped up lately with Gomorrah; the planned English-language Roberto Saviano adaptation, ZeroZeroZero; and the upcoming 1992 which is also made by Wildside for Sky Italia.
Law, who is next up in Paul Feig’s Spy and is playing Thomas Wolfe in Michael Grandage’s Genius, scored one of his two Oscar nominations for playing an American in Italy in 1999’s The Talented Mr Ripley.