John Malkovich is set to star in The New Pope, Paolo Sorrentino’s follow-up to the critically praised The Young Pope limited series, with Jude Law returning following his star turn as tormented American pontiff Lenny Belardo in the first series. Production on The New Pope, from FremantleMedia-owned Wildside (The Young Pope) and Spain’s Mediapro, is set to begin in Italy in November.


Written by Sorrentino with his frequent Italian co-writer Umberto Contarello, who also served as co-writer on Young Pope, and Stefano Bises, The New Pope limited series also is set in the world of modern papacy. The New Pope, an original production of HBO-Sky, is produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for Wildside and co-produced by Mediapro. The series has been in the works since last year.


Producers are keeping mum on Law & Malkovich’s roles in The New Pope. There were questions at the conclusion of The Young Pope as to whether Law’s Lenny Belardo was alive or dead. In the final moments, when Lenny was delivering his sermon in Venice, he doubled-over in pain and a vision of the Virgin Mary appeared in the clouds. While The New Pope is a new series, it is expected to retain some elements of Young Pope.

Law received critical praise for the role, earning a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture for TV. The two-time Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner is currently filming Marvel pic Captain Marvel, with Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Gemma Chan and Ben Mendelsohn, set for release in 2019, and spy thriller The Rhythm Section alongside Blake Lively. He’ll also be seen in J.K. Rowling’s upcoming Fantastic Beasts, The Crimes of Grindelwald, and he recently wrapped Brady Corbet’s musical drama Vox Lux with Stacy Martin. He’ll next shoot psychological thriller The Nest, alongside Carrie Coon, with Sean Durkin directing.

Two-time Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Malkovich earned best supporting Oscar nominations for In the Line of Fire and Places in the Heart. He won a supporting actor Emmy for his performance as Biff Loman in Death Of A Salesman, and received Emmy nominations for Napoleon and RKO 281. Malkovich is currently filming the role of Hercule Poirot in BBC One’s The ABC Murders.

Sorrentino most recently wrapped his two-part Silvio Berlusconi-themed film Loro.

The Young Pope, created and directed by Sorrentino, debuted on Sky in October 2016 and on HBO in January 2017. The series aired in 150 territories.

FremantleMedia International will handle international sales for The New Pope.