The Netflix original film The Pope has now cast Jonathan Pryce as the Argentinian Pope Francis. Netflix has released a number of much talked-about original movies this year alone and has even more arriving, over the remaining months of 2017. The list of upcoming Netflix original movies this year is varied in genre and includes the heist thriller Wheelman, the Jim Crow-era historical drama Mudbound, the Stephen King horror/thriller adaptation Gerald's Game and David Ayer's fantasy cop/crime thriller Bright.
Directed by Children of God's Fernando Meirelles, The Pope will be written by Anthony McCarten (the screenwriter of The Theory of Everything and this November's Darkest Hour). The Pope will explore Jorge Mario Bergoglio life as he prepares to follow in the footsteps of Pope Benedict. As a Jesuit and the first non-European Pope in centuries, Bergoglio's journey to becoming Pope Francis could make for an intriguing tale, with the rights actors involved.
Deadline is reporting that Pryce has been cast as Pope Francis in The Pope, with Anthony Hopkins in talks to costar as Pope Benedict in the film. Pryce is perhaps best known nowadays for playing the High Sparrow in Game of Thrones, so he'll certainly be familiar with the idea of presiding over a religious order. Hopkins, meanwhile, will return to the big screen to reprise his Marvel Cinematic Universe role as Odin in this fall's Thor: Ragnarok.
Though Pryce's career hasn't been without controversy, he's widely regarded as a powerful and respected performer. His recent turn as the High Sparrow in Game of Thrones should also give fans an idea of how he'll approach the similarly devout Pope Francis. Hopkins, meanwhile, is no stranger to playing a powerful leader. Though it's unknown how much The Pope will focus on Pope Benedict, the actor will likely light up each scene he's in.
While Netflix has been turning out critically acclaimed television for years, it's still relatively new to the movie game. So far, its track record with films has been scattershot. Okja won them praise, while Death Note hasn't been able to remove the stain of whitewashing from it. With a slew of films arriving over the next few months, however, it will be easier to get a sense of Netflix as a film studio and anticipate how The Pope might be received.
The Pope doesn't have a premiere date yet.