Last night, just before the highly anticipated debut of Westworld, HBO dropped a new teaser trailer for the upcoming series The Young Pope. Created and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind Youth and The Great Beauty, the show stars Jude Law as the fictional Pope Pius XIII and revolves around the newly elected (and American) Pope struggling with his responsibilities.
Instead of showing a nice, good-natured Pope trying to do right by the job, this show looks like it has a much more sinister vibe, and I’m not sure if the series will have a bit of a horror bent or will just be very, very dark—it feels like the Catholic version of House of Cards. Regardless, this is sure to create some controversy within the religious community given the importance of the papacy, although if you’ve got to cast a fictional Pope you can’t really do better than Jude Law. Moreover, the addition of Diane Keaton as an American nun who raised Pius and helped him ascend to the papacy adds yet another layer of intrigue.
In keeping with this new trend of auteur-driven TV, Sorrentino directed all 10 episodes of the series. Sometimes that works out great as with Cary Fukunaga’s True Detective Season 1 or Steven Soderbergh’s The Knick, and sometimes it results in disappointment as with Sam Esmail’s Mr. Robot Season 2. However, given that Sorrentino is already an accomplished feature filmmaker, one imagines he’ll have no trouble navigating story and character all on his own.
Check out the tantalizing new teaser trailer below. The Young Pope will debut on Sky Atlantic in Italy and Germany on October 21st and in the UK on October 27th, and then will hit HBO in February 2017 in the U.S.