With The Young Pope, prepare to watch Jude Law storming HBO as controversial Pope Pius XIII in Paolo Sorrentino's limited series. On January 15, the British actor will be entering Vatican City as a newly elected Pope to navigate the tense politics and unsettling intrigue permeating those sitting pretty at the head of the Catholic Church. Here's the trailer:
Indeed, the critics are raining down their praises on #HBO's latest offering, with the series drawing in a higher rating than Game Of Thrones in Italy after its release on Sky pay-TV. Yet, how much truth is there to the limited series? And is there really a true story behind the man at the epicenter of The Young Pope?
Is 'The Young Pope' A True Story?
To put it bluntly — no, #TheYoungPope is not based on a true story. In the show, Jude Law plays a complex man (born Lenny Belardo) who becomes the first all-American, chain-smoking pope, described by HBO as:
"A complex and conflicted character, so conservative in his choices as to border on obscurantism, yet full of compassion towards the weak and poor. [He] is a man of great power who is stubbornly resistant to the Vatican courtiers, unconcerned with the implications to his authority."
- The True Story Behind 'Alone In Berlin,' A Gripping Tale Of Wartime Resistance
- The True Story Behind 'Assassin's Creed': From Medieval Secret Orders To Modern Legends
- The True Story Behind Houdini, The Grand Escape Artist Getting A Biopic From '10 Cloverfield Lane' Director
However, although no such man ever existed, director Sorrentino is right to point out that there is an element of truth behind events at the crux of The Young Pope. Primarily, this is:
"The inner struggle between the huge responsibility of the Head of the Catholic Church and the miseries of the simple man that fate (or the Holy Spirit) chose as Pontiff."
Quite clearly, while The Young Pope may not exactly be a true story, there's certainly no lie in that being Head of the Catholic Church is no walk in the park. A fact Jude Law manages to capture with a nuanced performance in the new HBO series.
Will you be watching The Young Pope?