Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Meet The New Pope, just hanging with The Young Pope

Photo: HBO

Paolo Sorrentino’s papal saga will take a surprising turn in the wake of his weird, oft-brilliant HBO series The Young Pope. Instead of a second season following Jude Law’s Lenny Belardo, Sorrentino crafted a follow-up called The New Pope, which, as we previously reported, stars John Malkovich as its namesake character. In a new image shared by HBO, however, it appears Law’s Lenny isn’t quite ready to leave the spotlight.

This comes as a bit of surprise, as sources previously stated that, should he return, Law’s pope would appear “in a much smaller role.” It doesn’t look like that’s the case in the new image, in which Lenny essentially eclipses Malkovich’s stern-looking holy figure.


Those same sources also promised that characters from The Young Pope would resurface in The New Pope, and, per Deadline, that was also confirmed by HBO today. Silvio Orlando (Cardinal Voiello), Javier Cámara (Cardinal Gutierrez), Cécile de France (Sofia), Ludivine Sagnier (Esther), and Maurizio Lombardi (Cardinal Mario Assente) will all reprise their roles in the new season, which, unfortunately, still leaves us asking after Diane Keaton’s Sister Mary.

The show will also welcome a handful of new cast members in Henry Goodman (Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Ulrich Thomsen (Counterpart), and Massimo Ghini (Tea With Mussolini). Will they also play popes? There are just so many popes.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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