Thesp stepping in on Eye's four-hour mini

There’s a new pope at Television City.

Citing personal reasons, Ian Holm has been released from his commitment to play the title role in the CBS mini “John Paul II” (Daily Variety, June 30). His replacement is Jon Voight.

Voight will play John Paul II from his election to the papacy to his death earlier this year. Cary Elwes remains cast as the younger Karol Wojtyla, while James Cromwell, Ben Gazzara, Franco Nero and Charles Danceas have also joined the cast.

Production on the four-hour mini began Thursday in Krakow, Poland, with lensing skedded for Rome later this year. Eye mini is filming at the same time as ABC’s pope project, which began lensing last week (Daily Variety, Aug. 8).

Dubbed “Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II,” ABC’s pope vehicle stars Thomas Kretschmann.

“Pope John Paul II” is being produced by Matilde and Luca Bernabei for Lux Vide (“Jesus”), Max Gusberti for RAI Fiction, Stephen Davis (“Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story”), Tarak Ben Amar (“The Bible”) for Quinta Communications, Chris Grabowski and Slawomir Jozwik for Baltmedia/Projektor.

John Kent-Harrison is directing.

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