CBS is phoning Holm

Thesp cast for net's Pope John Paul II pic

Ian Holm will play Pope John Paul II in the upcoming CBS biopic about the late pontiff.

Holm (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy) will portray the elder Karol Wojtyla, starting with his election to the papacy; a younger Wojtyla has yet to be cast.

Four-hour miniseries, on track for a debut as early as November, is being produced by an international consortium that includes Lux Vide, Granada America, Quinta Communications, Tele Munchen and Baltmedia/Projecktor. Some second unit footage as already been shot, with full lensing set to begin late next month in Italy and Poland.

Tentatively titled “Pope John Paul II” will follow the life of the man who would be pope from his days as a high school student in Poland through his death earlier this year. Historians for the Vatican have supervised the script and exclusive access has been granted to St. Peter’s Square and its surroundings.

Holm has been twice-nommed for Emmys. Thesp’s recent credits include “The Aviator,” “Garden State” and “The Day After Tomorrow.”

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