A HBO miniseries revolving around a decorated pontiff conjures up a very particular, almost graceful set of preconceptions – billowing white smoke, divine iconography, and religious masses bowing down in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square – but for The Young Pope, the network is veering into darker territory.
Hailing from Italian writer-director Paolo Sorrentino, The Young Pope is a 10-part drama that takes a deep dive into a complex web of warring cardinals and a pope who is both conflicted and, arguably, unfit to lead. Smoking candidly and butting heads with his fellow peers, the trailer above sees Jude Law’s Pius XIII slowly becoming more power crazy as his reign reaches its climax, and he wanders onto that famous balcony to address his adoring masses. Young and brash where his fellow religious folk are old and wise, The Young Pope is brimming with dramatic potential.
In attendance at the ongoing Venice Film Festival, Sorrentino just debuted the first two hours of The Young Pope ahead of a planned premiere later in the year. It also marks the filmmaker’s return to English-language territory following a well-deserved Oscar win for The Great Beauty. Joining Jude Law on hallowed ground are Diane Keaton, Silvio Orlando, Scott Shepherd, Cécile de France, Javier Cámara, Ludivine Sagnier, Toni Bertorelli and James Cromwell.
Leveraging creative resources between Sky, HBO and Canal Plus, The Young Pope is due to make its premiere on October 27 in the United Kingdom. There’s no mention of when Sorrentino’s religious opus will debut Stateside, but we’ll keep you posted nonetheless.