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The Oscar winner has signed on to star opposite Jude Law in the upcoming seriesThe Young Pope, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The eight-part project centers on a fictional American pope, Pius XIII (Law), born Lenny Belardo, who becomes the most conservative leader the Catholic Church has ever seen. Stubbornly resistant to the Vatican courtiers yet full of compassion toward the weak and poor, he faces the prospect of losing those closest to him — even his God.
Keaton will play Sister Mary, a nun from the U.S. now living in Vatican City.
The Young Pope is the first-ever TV series from Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty). He will direct all eight episodes, and write all eight with Tony Grisoni, Umberto Contarello and Stefano Rulli.
The Young Pope is being produced by Wildside (1992) and co-produced by Haut et Court TV. Executive producers for Wildside are Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani, together with John Lyons, former Focus Features president of production. Executive producers for Haut et Court TV are Caroline Benjo, Carole Scotta and Simon Arnal.
The series, which will shoot in Italy, is a joint production of HBO and Sky.
The role brings Keaton back to HBO, where she produced the network’s 2003 Gus Van Sant film Elephant, which won the Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Keaton also starred in the 2010 HBO pilot Tilda, a blogger comedy inspired by Deadline Hollywood creator Nikki Finke. HBO passed on the project in February 2011.
For HBO, The Young Pope comes as the pay cable network looks to launch new dramas following the recent endings of True Blood, Boardwalk Empire and The Newsroom.
Keaton’s credits include The Godfather, Annie Hall and Something’s Gotta Give. She is repped by WME and Gendler & Kelly.
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