John Malkovich has signed on to star opposite Jude Law in “The New Pope,” the follow up to Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Young Pope,” Variety has learned.

It was previously said that the series, an original production of HBO and Italy’s Sky, will not be a second season of “The Young Pope.” Rather, HBO and Sky described it as Sorrentino’s second limited series set in the world of the modern papacy.

Law starred in “The Young Pope” as Lenny Belardo, who took the name Pius XIII as he became the first American pope in history. Whether or not Law will reprise that role, given the uncertainty of the character’s future at the end of the first series, is unknown. It is rumored that Malkovich will play the new pontiff, though no official description of either actor’s character has been released.

Production on “The New Pope” is scheduled to begin in Italy in November. Sorrentino will write the series with Umberto Contarello and Stefano Bises. It is produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for Wildside and co-produced by Mediapro. FremantleMedia International will act as the global distributor.

“The Young Pope” debuted on Sky in October 2016 and then on HBO in January 2017. Law received a Golden Globe nomination for his work on the show.

Sources