Kyle Chandler Cast As Lead in Showtime Pilot THE VATICAN

     February 15, 2013


Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), who has seemingly been in every movie that came out in 2012, could be returning to the small screen this year for Showtime’s drama pilot The Vatican.  The series gained some extra interest this winter when it was announced Ridley Scott (Prometheus) would be directing the pilot, continuing a trend of film directors setting their sights newly on television (which is great news for TV fans).  The Vatican will (unlike the network’s other Vatican-related series, The Borgias) take place in modern times, and has been described as a “thriller” that will focus on both the politics and spiritual aspects of the modern day Catholic church.  Hit the jump for more on the potential series, as well as Chandler’s much-anticipated role.

kyle-chandler-the-vaticanChandler will be portraying Cardinal Thomas Duffy, a charismatic Archbishop of New York whose progressive ideas cause a schism (yes I went there) among church leaders.  Supporting Chandler is Matthew Goode (A Single Man) who plays Papal Secretary Bernd Koch, one of the Pope’s closest confidants.  Multiple-award winner Paul Attanasio (House M.D.) is also on board to write the pilot script.

With such a promising cast and premise, the show should certainly not have any trouble finding an early audience should Showtime pick it up to series.  It will be interesting too to compare The Vatican‘s contemporary portrayal of the inner workings of the Catholic church with the ancient machinations of The Borgias, which has always flown somewhat under the radar despite the fact that it’s a compelling and extremely well-acted drama.  Like that series’ inclusion of Jeremy Irons to anchor the show with his experience and charisma, Chandler is a fantastic choice to lead another series because of his engaging and natural likability.  Plus, the idea that both Coach and Mrs. Coach could be back on TV?  Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

Read the press release below:

LOS ANGELES, CA – (February 15, 2013) – Emmy Award winner Kyle Chandler (Friday Night LightsArgoZero Dark Thirty) has been cast in the lead role of the drama pilot THE VATICAN, a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics – set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church. Chandler will portray Cardinal Thomas Duffy, the charismatic yet enigmatic Archbishop of New York, whose progressive leanings excite some and alarm others within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Acclaimed actors Matthew Goode (A Single Man) and Sebastian Koch (A Good Day to Die Hard) have also joined the cast. THE VATICAN will begin production in 2013 and is being produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with SHOWTIME for series consideration. The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.

“Kyle Chandler is one of the most talented and sought-after actors working today, and was a fantastic creative partner through five seasons of Friday Night Lights,” said Nevins. “With Kyle, Matthew Goode and Sebastian Koch, Ridley and Paul have put together a powerhouse cast to anchor this incredibly timely show.”

A beloved actor on the small and big screen, Chandler is best known to audiences for his Emmy-winning role as Coach Eric Taylor on Friday Night Lights. His film credits include Super 8The Day the Earth Stood StillKing KongBroken City, and two Academy Award®-nominated films this year for Best Motion Picture, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. His television roles include lead and guest starring roles on Early EditionHomefrontWhat About Joan and Grey’s Anatomy. Chandler can next be seen in the feature film The Wolf of Wall Street, directed by Martin Scorsese.

Acclaimed actor Matthew Goode has been cast in the role of Papal Secretary Bernd Koch, the current Pope’s closest confidante – giving him a very powerful perch within the inner-circle of the Vatican. Goode’s feature film credits include Stoker opposite Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska, A Single ManWatchmenMatch PointThe LookoutBrideshead Revisited and Chasing Liberty. He currently stars in the BBC miniseries Dancing on the Edge, which will air in the US later this year.

With appearances on stage, television and film, Sebastian Koch is one of Germany’s most successful actors, and will play Cardinal Marco Malerba, the Vatican’s Secretary of State. Malerba is informally known as the “dark prince of the Curia” for his proven abilities to ruthlessly wield power within the Church hierarchy. Koch’s credits include a lead role in the 2007 Oscar® winner for Best Foreign Language Film The Lives of Others, as well as Sea Wolf, Paul Verhoeven’s Black BookCamelot, and the action thriller A Good Day to Die Hard.

THE VATICAN will explore the relationships and rivalries as well as the mysteries and miracles behind one of the world’s most hidden institutions. Two–time Oscar nominee (Quiz ShowDonnie Brasco) and three-time Emmy nominee (House M.D.) Paul Attanasio wrote the hour-long script.  Master of modern day cinema and triple Oscar nominee and Golden Globe®-winner Sir Ridley Scott (Gladiator,Prometheus) will direct the pilot – marking his first ever for television. Attanasio, Scott, and David Zucker (The Good Wife) will serve as executive producers.