The first two episodes of Paulo Sorrentino’s hotly anticipated new TV series The Young Pope that stars Jude Law as the fictional first American pontiff in history will screen at the upcoming Venice Film Festival.

The episodes will screen on September 3 in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema at the Lido di Venezia.

Created by Oscar-winner Sorrentino, The Young Pope is an original production of Sky, HBO and Canal Plu. Starting in October, it will be broadcast on Sky Atlantic in Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland and Austria and in France on Canal Plus. Domestically, HBO will also air it later this year.

Set in the modern-day, The Young Pope is a drama which centers on a manipulative and troublemaker Pope, determined to upset the establishment.

Paolo Sorrentino The Young Pope
Photo by Gianni Fiorito

Law plays the young and charming Lenny Belardo, aka Pius XIII, whose election might seem the result of a simple and effective media strategy by the College of Cardinals. But, appearances can be deceiving. Inside the Vatican, the mysterious and contradictory Pius XIII is at once shrewd and naïve, old-fashioned and very modern, doubtful and resolute, ironic, pedantic, hurt and ruthless. As he walks the long path of human loneliness to find a God for mankind, he’s also seeking one for himself.

Law is joined by an international cast that includes Diane Keaton, Silvio Orlando, Scott Shepherd, Cécile de France, Javier Cámara, Ludivine Sagnier, Tony Bertorelli and James Cromwell. Great Beauty director Sorrentino co-wrote the series with his frequent collaborator Umberto Contarello, as well as Tony Grisoni and Stefano Rulli.

The Young Pope is produced by Wildside and co-produced by Haut et Court TV and Mediapro. FremantleMedia International, which acquired Italy’s Wildside last August, has offshore distribution.