Diane Keaton will star in “The Young Pope,” Variety has learned. The eight-episode series is created by the Academy Award-winning Paolo Sorrentino and is produced jointly by Sky, HBO and France’s Canal Plus.
The project marks Keaton’s first-ever series regular television role.
The Oscar-winning actress joins the previously cast Jude Law in the drama, which goes into production this week. She will play Sister Mary, a nun from America living in Vatican City.
The series tells the story of the beginning of Pontificate of Pius XIII, born Lenny Belardo (played by Law). A complex and conflicted character with great power, Belardo will face losing those closest to him and the fear of being abandoned, even by his God. However, he is not afraid of undertaking the millennial mission of defending that same God and the world representing him.
Sorrentino, who will direct all episodes, describes the series as such: “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 inner struggle between the huge responsibility of the Head of the Catholic Church and the miseries of the simple man that fate (or the Holy Spirit) chose as Pontiff. Finally, how to handle and manipulate power in a state whose dogma and moral imperative is the renunciation of power and selfless love towards one’s neighbour. That is what ‘The Young Pope’ is about.”
“The Young Pope” hails from Wildside with exec producers Lorenzo Mieli, Mario Gianani and John Lyons, and Haut et Court TV with Caroline Benjo, Carole Scotta and Simon Arnal exec producing. The project is a co-production for HBO and Sky.
Keaton is repped by WME.