British actor Jude Law is to play the fictional, titular pontiff in director Paolo Sorrentino's small-screen, contemporary drama series The Young Pope.
Variety reported Law will play Lenny Belardo, a hard-line conservative recruited by a Vatican frustrated by liberals.
Belardo ultimately becomes Pius XIII, the first Italian-American pope, in the eight-part series, which is to begin shooting this summer in Italy, the United States, Africa and Puerto Rico.
"He is a man of great power who is stubbornly resistant to the Vatican courtiers, unconcerned with the implications to his authority," a synopsis said. "During the series, Belardo will face losing those closest to him and the constant fear of being abandoned, even by his God. A man who is, however, not afraid of undertaking the millennial mission of defending that same God and the world representing Him."
Law, 42, is best known for his roles in the films Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Cold Mountain, Sherlock Holmes, Hugo, Anna Karenina and The Grand Budapest Hotel.