March 14th, 2013
12:20 PM ET
Talk about good timing.
The cable network revealed that the pilot has been in the works since December. (It was Showtime's first pilot order for 2013.)
A statement from the network describes "The Vatican" as "a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics, set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic Church."
"House M.D." executive producer Paul Attanasio wrote the hour-long script, which will delve into both the "relationships and rivalries" as well as the "mysteries and miracles" at the famously private institution. Sir Ridley Scott is serving as the pilot's director.
"Friday Night Lights" star Kyle Chandler has already been tapped to portray Cardinal Thomas Duffy, “the charismatic yet enigmatic Archbishop of New York, whose progressive leanings excite some and alarm others within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church," Entertainment Weekly reported in February.
And on the same day of Pope Francis' election, Showtime cast "Trainspotting" actor Ewen Bremner as Monsignor Alberico Iemma, who investigates and pronounces miracles for the Church, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Bremner joins previously announced cast members Anna Friel, who plays Chandler's sister; Sebastian Koch, who portrays a powerful cardinal known as "the dark prince of the Curia"; and Matthew Goode, who portrays papal secretary Bernd Koch, the Pope's confidante.
Production on "The Vatican" is expected to begin this year. Showtime has yet to cast the pope.
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