HBO confirmed that the follow-up to 2017’s “The Young Pope,” which is going by the name “The New Pope,” will premiere on the network on January 13th. The next chapter dives into the inner workings of the Vatican, while exploring the very human desires, vices and fragilities of those in power and the complexities inherent in faith today. All nine episodes of “The New Pope” are directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, who also directed the first installment. The series is written by Sorrentino with Umberto Contarello and Stefano Bises. The series will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.

The series picks up where “The Young Pope” left off, with Jude Law’s Lenny Belardo, known as Pope Pius XIII, in a coma. Following an unpredictable and mysterious turn of events, Secretary of State Voiello (Silvio Orlando) succeeds in having Sir John Brannox (John Malkovich), a charming and sophisticated moderate English aristocrat, placed on the papal throne, adopting the name John Paul III. The new pope seems ideal, but he conceals secrets and has a certain fragility, and Voiello immediately understands that it will not be easy to replace the charismatic Pius XIII. Hanging between life and death, Lenny Belardo has become a Saint, with thousands now idolizing him, fueling the contrast between fundamentalisms. Meanwhile, the Church is under attack from external threats and scandals striking the symbols of Christianity and risking irreversibly devastating the hierarchies. As always, however, in the Vatican, nothing is what it seems. Good and evil proceed arm-in-arm towards history, and to reach the showdown, we must wait for the events to take their course.

The cast features two-time Academy Award nominees Jude Law and John Malkovich. Returning cast from “The Young Pope” include Silvio Orlando, Javier Cámara, Cécile de France, Ludivine Sagnier and Maurizio Lombardi. New cast for the series are Henry Goodman, Ulrich Thomsen, Mark Ivanir, Yuliya Snigir and Massimo Ghini. Sharon Stone and Marilyn Manson guest star.

“The New Pope” is a joint Sky, HBO, CANAL+ original production; created and directed by Paolo Sorrentino; executive producers, Lorenzo Mieli, Mario Gianani, Riccardo Neri, Elena Recchia, Paolo Sorrentino, Jude Law, Caroline Benjo, Carole Scotta, Simon Arnal, Jaume Roures, Javier Méndez, Nils Hartmann, Sonia Rovai; produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for Fremantle’s Wildside; co-produced by Haut et Court TV and The Mediapro Studio.

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