The Young Pope: First picture of Jude Law as first American-born Pope in new drama series

The British actor stars as Pope Pius XIII alongside a nun played by Diane Keaton in HBO, Sky and Canal + production, The Young Pope

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The Independent Culture

He’s notorious for his womanising ways, but Jude Law has been chosen to play a fictional American-born pope in a new TV series.

The first photo of Law playing Pope Pius XIII in The Young Pope has been released, showing him soaking up the sun in Rome as he reclines in a chair.

The drama series, a joint production between HBO, Sky and Canal +, also stars Diane Keaton as a nun who helps Pope Pius XIII, born Lenny Belardo, get to the top.

But don’t expect a conventional religious drama- this is HBO, after all.

Pope Pius XIII sounds more conservative than the current Pope Francis, which causes him problems in the Vatican. He is “a complex and conflicted character, so conservative in his choices as to border on obscurantism, yet full of compassion towards the weak and poor.”

Law’s Pope is also described as a man who is “stubbornly resistant to the Vatican courtiers and unconcerned with the implications to his authority.”


The eight-part series will be directed by Oscar-nominated director Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty, 2013), who has described the series in equally obscure terms.

He said The Young Pope will be about: “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.”