Why do people keep talking about Jude Law and the Pope?

Well, there's a lot of chatter online about the Londoner making his way to the Vatican for a new TV miniseries, you see..

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Mamma Mia! The internet is abuzz with talk of Jude Law making a beeline for the Vatican and taking on a rather iconic role. Yep, you guessed it… The Pope.

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Yup, rumour has it that the Londoner will be donning a papal cap in the not too distant future, but why are people talking about it? Could it be true?

Let’s start at the very beginning…

Over the weekend Italian media went wild with reports that Law was in negotiations to take on the lead role in a new Sky Italia miniseries called The Young Pope. The rumours spread like wildfire on social media in Italy, eventually being picked up by The Hollywood Reporter and Variety in the USA.

What is The Young Pope?

Ever wondered what would happen if an Italian-American was elected Pope? That’s precisely what The Young Pope is about. Slated to feature a lead character who is “as complex as Tony Soprano”, the miniseries will revolve around a pontiff who’s probably the most conservative the Vatican has ever seen.

So, as you can imagine, there’ll be plenty of drama and intrigue.

Why is it such a big deal? 

The man at the helm of the project has a lot to do with it. Paolo Sorrentino won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film back in 2014 for La Grand Bellaza (The Great Beauty) and The Young Pope is his very first TV project. With his previous work getting such high critical acclaim, hopes for the miniseries are high.

People were apparently so eager to get involved with the production that they almost mobbed Rome’s Cincinetta Studios – where The Young Pope will be filmed – after an open call for extras.

Do we all need to start learning Italian now then?

While we’re sure there’ll be some Italian and the odd bit of Latin involved (well, it is about the leader of the Catholic Church after all) the miniseries will be an English language one. They want to be able to sell it overseas y’see.

Could Jude Law convincingly play a Pope?

That is indeed the question. If you’re not massively into movies you could be forgiven for pigeonholing him as a RomCom scoundrel/ladies’ man, but have a look back at his cinematic CV and you’ll see he’s actually played a variety of characters.

More recent decent roles include the narrator/young writer in Grand Budapest Hotel and Dr. Jonathan Banks in Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects. You can’t forget his excellent turns in Cold Mountain, Gattaca and The Talented Mr. Ripley either. The modern day Alfie certainly has it in him to do drama.

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This is all still purely speculative at the moment though. There’s no confirmation (other than ‘sources’ close to the production or so The Hollywood Reporter says) that Law will follow in the footsteps of Francis and Benedict XIV, so don’t go getting too excited until you see televisual white smoke.