London From the Academy Award-winning director, Paolo Sorrentino comes one of the most exciting projects to be announced at last week’s Cannes Film Festival, The Young Pope. Starring the two-time Academy Award nominee Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Sherlock Holmes, Cold Mountain), The Young Pope tells the controversial story of the beginning of PIUS XIII’s Pontificate. With the exclusive international distribution (outside of partner territories) handled by FremantleMedia International (FMI), The Young Pope is set to begin production this summer.

Born Lenny Belardo, PIUS XIII 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. He is a man of great power who is stubbornly resistant to the Vatican courtiers, unconcerned with the implications to his authority. During the series, Belardo will face losing those closest to him and the constant fear of being abandoned, even by his God.

Jens Richter, CEO, FremantleMedia International said, “The Young Pope combines fantastic story with a brilliant pedigree of talent in the form of a world-renowned director in Paolo Sorrentino, an outstanding production team in Wildside and an extraordinary lead man in Jude Law. The series has all of the ingredients to become a hallmark drama and FMI is thrilled to have secured the rights for its catalogue.” 

The series is a joint production of Sky, HBO and Canal +.  All eight episodes will be directed by Sorrentino and written by Sorrentino in collaboration with Tony Grisoni, Umberto Contarello and Stefano Rulli.