Jude Law to star as conservative Pope Pius XIII in series

A new mini-series starring Jude Law will depict an ultra-conservative Pope Pius XIII who locks horns with Vatican officials.

The first official trailer for Paulo Sorrentino’s eight-part mini-series “The Young Pope” has been released.

The trailer shows Law’s Pius XIII – depicted as the first American pope in contemporary times – to be an intense and brooding pontiff, who describes himself as a “contradiction”.

The pope is shown at prayer everywhere from a chapel to the bottom of a swimming pool.

He is also seen reclining in a chair smoking – another subtle nudge towards a darker character.

And in a further nod to the character’s complex and conservative outlook, he states he is much like God, but also “like man, good and evil”.

This is before he declares he intends to preside over a “revolution”.

Pius XIII’s most trusted aide is a Sister Mary – played by Diane Keaton – an American nun living in Vatican City who raised the pontiff and helped him reach the papacy.

Sorrentino described the themes that will run throughout his complex and stylish religious drama.

“[It shows] 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,” he said.

“[The Young Pope is about] the clear signs of God’s existence.The clear signs of God’s absence. How faith can be searched for and lost,” he said.

“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.”

Among other famous actors to have played popes on screen were Jeremy Irons and Rex Harrison.


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