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New ‘Pope Pius XIII’ drama is ‘not wildly inaccurate’, says HBO chief

A television series starring Jude Law as Pope will premiere this Autumn

The HBO programming chief has said that the new television programme about the life of a fictional Pope is not entirely unrealistic.

When questioned by Patheos blogger Kate O’Hare about the Catholic Church’s portrayal in the new mini series ‘The Young Pope’, HBO official Casey Bloys said: “I am guessing there is some creative license, but it’s not wildly inaccurate".

The series – premiering on Sky Atlantic in October in the UK – follows the life of Pope Pius XIII (Jude Law) who is struggling with his papal responsibilities.

The television trailer opens with a scene where Pius XIII is smoking a cigarette, and has him contemplating a “revolution".

His most trusted advisor is an American nun living in Vatican City who will be played by Oscar-winner Diane Keaton.

The creator of the eight-part television drama is director Paolo Sorrentino, who has previously won a foreign-language Academy Award for the 2013 film ‘The Great Beauty’.

When asked to describe the project, Sorrentino told the Daily Mail:

“[The Young Pope is about] the clear signs of God’s existence. The clear signs of God’s absence. How faith can be searched for and lost.

‘The greatness of holiness, so great as to be unbearable when you are fighting temptations and when all you can do is to yield to them."

The majority of the programme was shot in Rome, but not inside the Vatican. The show’s first two episodes will be previewed at the Venice Film Festival on September 3.

There is no release date yet for audiences in America.


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