While HBO’s 2016 series The Young Pope was intended as a limited-run prestige project from BAFTA-winning director Paolo Sorrentino, plans subsequently emerged for a follow-up series, titled The New Pope. Indeed, the follow up series will showcase a new pope, with HBO having sent white smoke signals of confirmation for a new co-star in Oscar-winning actor John Malkovich.
Malkovich was revealed as the star of HBO’s The New Pope back in July 2018. While details on his character were not initially provided, the very title of the follow-up series did little to hide the arc of said character. Interestingly, The New Pope name-drop occurred quickly after The Young Pope completed its run, proving provocative, since the first series concluded with a cliffhanger regarding the fate of Jude Law’s titular pontiff.
The New Pope Trailer
A new trailer has arrived for The New Pope, showcasing a crisis within the Vatican brewing between papal occupants played by Jude Law and John Malkovich, yielding two words to best describe the underlying premise of this sequel series: Pope Fight!
The first trailer for The New Pope hyperbolically showcases the stark contrast between this season’s two popes, with Jude Law’s outgoing “Young Pope” impressing the ladies on a beach in his holy-effervescent papal speedo, while his billed successor, played by John Malkovich, is all business, deep into some serious sessions of prayer.
The New Pope Release Date
The New Pope is scheduled to premiere on HBO on Monday, January 13 at 9 p.m.
The New Pope Details
2017’s The Young Pope depicted a fictional scenario with the tumultuous early tenure of the first American pope, Lenny Belardo, a.k.a. Pope Pius XIII. Arriving unconventionally as an American, one who’s exceptionally young for the position, Lenny is a chain-smoking papal bull in a Vatican china shop, uprooting the behind-the-scenes political machinations of power players who normally work in the shadows, while at the same time alienating devotees with an agenda of hardline Catholic views.
Interestingly, while Law is being touted as a co-star for The New Pope, specific information about his prospective role reprisal were initially left just as mysterious as Malkovich’s character. This means that Law’s role could be anything from a series regular to a quick turnover cameo, leading to the ascension of Malkovich’s character to the papacy. Driving this point home was HBO’s tweet about Malkovich’s casting, stating “welcome to the papacy,” which seemingly confirms the character’s destiny.
The New Pope Cast
HBO’s first official photo (seen as the article’s main image,) from The New Pope, shows a proverbial pass-off of pontiffs with Jude Law’s Pius XIII standing alongside his successor, played by John Malkovich. HBO included the teaser line, “I just confessed four sins looking at this photo.”
New star John Malkovich arrives as a cinematic icon, known from a multitude of memorable films across genres such as Dangerous Liaisons, Con Air and the monumentally-meta movie, Being John Malkovich. He received Best Supporting Oscar nominations for In the Line of Fire in 1994 and Places of the Heart in 1985. Malkovich is coming off a recent television run on Showtime’s Billions and recently starred as Agatha Christie’s iconic detective, Hercule Poirot, in the Amazon Prime Video/BBC One TV movie, The ABC Murders.
Star Jude Law, on the other hand, comes off a role in Potterverse sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, in which he played a younger Albus Dumbledore. He was recently seen in this past March’s Captain Marvel, and will return for the December 2020-scheduled Sherlock Holmes 3, reprising his role of Dr. John Watson.
Besides Jude Law, The New Pope will see the return of The Young Pope cast members such as Silvio Orlando, Javier Cámara, Ludivine Sagnier, Cécile de France and Maurizio Lombardi. Besides John Malkovich, newcomers include Mark Ivanir, Ulrich Thomsen, Henry Goodman and Massimo Ghini.
Paolo Sorrentino, who wrote and directed The Young Pope, returned to write The New Pope, with Umberto Contarello and Stefano Bises having worked on the script. Also returning from the previous series are producers Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for Wildside, co-produced with Mediapro. FremantleMedia International is handling international distribution.