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Showtime is not headed to The Vatican.
The drama pilot that starred Friday Night Lights favorite Kyle Chandler will not move forward at the premium cable network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The news confirms what sources told THR for a recent piece on Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal: that the drama, which started with her original idea, saw showrunner Paul Attanasio exit after the pilot — and reshoots came back with problems.
The Vatican, a contemporary thriller about spirituality, power and politics, was set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic Church. The drama would have explored the relationships and rivalries, in addition to the mysteries and miracles behind the institution. House‘s Attanasio penned the script for the Sony Pictures Television vehicle. Ridley Scott directed the pilot, marking his first television-helming gig. Attanasio, Scott and David Zucker executive produced.
Sources tell THR that the pricey drama didn’t turn out well and that showrunner Attanasio was difficult, failing to meet deadlines and clashing with numerous people behind the scenes.
Chandler, who has been among the most sought-after actors since his five-season run on NBC’s Friday Night Lights, starred as Cardinal Thomas Duffy with Downfall‘s Bruno Ganz portraying Pope Sixtus VI. Anna Friel, Sebastian Koch, Matthew Goode and Ewen Bremner co-starred. The drama marked a reunion for Showtime entertainment president David Nevins with Chandler, who previously teamed on Friday Night Lights, which the former produced. Chandler’s casting came after Nevins is said to have pursued the Emmy winner to play Brody on Homeland.
For Showtime, The Vatican was one of three pilots in the works. The network also has marriage drama The Affair starring Fringe‘s Joshua Jackson and Philip Seymour Hoffman comedy Happyish (formerly known as Trending Down) in the works. The net, which already has its original scripted lineup set for 2014, also recently began production on horror-drama series Penny Dreadful.
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