The New Pope will address people’s cravings for something spiritual, John Malkovich promised at the Venice Film Festival press conference for the new series.
Paolo Sorrentino’s follow-up to his HBO series The Young Pope, this second season continues to explore the world around Pope Pius XIII, aka. Lenny (Jude Law). The New Pope of the title is John Brannox, played by Malkovich, who is drafted in to assume the Papacy due to unusual circumstances surrounding Lenny.
Law, though, is still a presence in the series, not least in one eye-catching scene that has been used for the teaser trailer, which sees him swagger out of the sea in swimming trunks that would make a Daniel Craig in Casino Royale look overdressed.
“You’d be surprised to know those swimming trunks weren’t the smallest costume,” Law joked at the press conference. “I asked the costumier, one day, what I would be wearing, and he lifted up a tiny piece of material. I have a photo of it because it was the smallest costume I have ever been given.”
Sorrentino, whose work has never shied away from putting human bodies on display, argued that the nudity in The New Pope is “very well distributed” throughout the series, with “a lot of equality in the nudity, often women and men and, of course, animals”.
“Paolo is unique among filmmakers because he has such a great sense of geography, of putting characters in a geography,” said Malkovich on a more serious note. “He’s an excellent writer and I think this series addresses people’s cravings for something spiritual and that they could believe in.”
Law added that Paulo had pitched the new season while the first was being made.
“At that time, it seemed impossible that Lenny Belardo could go any further than we’d taken him. Realizing that idea has been wonderful.”
Episode 2 and 7 of The New Pope were screened at the Venice Film Festival, with no air date on Sky Atlantic yet confirmed.
Photo: La Biennale di Venezia – foto ASAC