The Vatican casts its Pope

The Ridley Scott-directed Showtime pilot has chosen Downfall actor Bruno Ganz to play Pope Sixtus VI

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We have a new Pope! No, not Francis, but Sixtus VI, aka actor Bruno Ganz, who will play the head of the Catholic Church in Ridley Scott’s new TV pilot The Vatican. 

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Best known for his portrayal of Adolf Hitler in Downfall, 71-year-old Ganz will front the hour-long Showtime commission which has been penned by House screenwriter Paul Attanasio and is expected to explore the relationships, rivalries and mysteries within the modern-day Catholic Church.

Also cast are Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), as Cardinal Thomas Duffy, and Sebastian Koch (A Good Day to Die Hard), as Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Marco Malerba.

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British talent includes Matthew Goode – most recently seen in BBC2 period drama Dancing on the Edge – as papal secretary Bernd Koch, Anna Friel as Duffy’s sister Kayla and Ewan Bremner as miracle investigator Monsignor Alberico Iemma.