The Young Pope is one of the most sumptuous, fascinating and utterly bonkers new shows of 2017. It makes perfect sense that HBO and U.K. partner Sky would want to continue creator Paolo Sorrentino’s strange journey into an alternate Vatican reality but the end of the show’s first season left the title character (Jude Law) in a rather precarious position. It simply was not clear if The Young Pope would survive.
Now we know it won’t, but there’s a new Pope in town.
HBO and Sky have announced a new partnership with Young Pope creator Sorrentino to develop The New Pope, according to Variety. The new series will not necessarily be a direct sequel to The Young Pope but it will be “set in the world of the modern papacy.“ A brief appearance by Law’s Lenny Belardo has not been ruled out. Sorrentino and his co-writer Umberto Contarello are already at work on the scripting and casting will begin soon ahead of production next year.
On the one hand, it’ll be sad to see Law’s scenery-chewing Belardo and Diane Keaton’s surprisingly devious Sister Mary go. The Young Pope’s core characters were a joy to watch over the course of 10 hours, right down to the kangaroo roaming the Vatican grounds. On the other, we get to keep Sorrentino’s lush, ironic view of the papacy and his knack for bizarre displays of spirituality. We also get to crown a new (fictional) pope.
But who will play him? Will The New Pope be younger than The Young Pope? Are we talking Jacob Tremblay in a big hat? Probaby not but let’s think at least a little younger than Law for fun. Let’s also think a little more internationally than Belardo’s New York roots.
To that end, Oscar Isaac would make a fantastic sexy pope. So would Dev Patel, who’s continuing to develop his range. Pedro Pascal already has costume drama experience thanks to Game of Thrones, and would be a rather convincing Chilean pope if asked. Then there’s Diego Luna, Eddie Redmayne, Rami Malek and Idris Elba. Idris Elba’s not exactly younger than Jude Law but you know you’d watch that show in a heartbeat.