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Sorrentino directs Jude Law in European co-production

Jude LawAcademy award-winning director Paolo Sorrentino will be at the helm of The Young Pope, an international co-production due to shoot in Italy, the US, South Africa and Puerto Rico this summer. 

The weighty drama is for Sky, Canal + and HBO with Jude Law starring in the title role. Sorrentino, who will direct all eight episodes, also wrote the series in collaboration with Tony Grisoni, Umberto Contarello and Stefano Rulli.

With the majority of shooting taking place in Italy, The Young Pope tells the controversial (fictional) story of PIUS XIII’s Pontificate, born as American Lenny Belardo (Law), a powerful and complex man full of compassion yet known for being highly conservative. 

Sorrentino describes the project as follows: “The clear signs of God’s existence. The clear signs of God’s absence. How faith can be searched for and lost. 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. 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. Finally, how to handle and manipulate power in a state whose dogma and moral imperative is the renunciation of power and selfless love towards one’s neighbour. That is what The Young Pope is about.”  

The historical series, which shoots until early 2016, comes from Wildside and is co-produced by prolific French shingle Haut et Court. Executive producers for Wildside are Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani together with John Lyons. Executive producers for Haut et Court TV are Caroline Benjo, Carole Scotta and Simon Arnal.

For more on filming in Italy, head over to our production guide