Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce launch papal feud in 'The Two Popes' trailer

The past legacy, present climate, and future impact of the Catholic Church is at stake in the first trailer for City of God filmmaker Fernando Meirelles’ papal drama The Two Popes.

Based on real events, the official preview follows the aging, traditional Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) as he prepares to transfer power over the historic religion to the reformist, progressive Cardinal Bergoglio, who would eventually become known as Pope Francis (Jonathan Pryce) upon assuming the role in 2013.

As one of Benedict’s harshest critics, Bergoglio requests permission to retire in 2012, and is ultimately invited to meet with the leader to hear a potentially catastrophic secret that would shake the foundations of the Catholic Church to the core. The film subsequently documents the pair’s power struggle between tradition and reform as they strive to find a middle ground for their parishioners.

“We are no longer part of this world,” Francis tells his predecessor in the clip, which also sees the two bantering back and forth about the Beatles as they discuss how to forge a new path for Catholicism into the future. “It’s not me who needs to be satisfied; it’s 1.2 billion believers.”

“You know, the hardest thing is to listen, to hear his voice — God’s voice,” Benedict later admits. “You know there’s a saying: ‘God always corrects one pope by presenting the world with another pope.’ I’d like to see my correction.”

Before its theatrical bow on Nov. 27 (and, later, its Netflix premiere on Dec. 20), The Two Popes — written by Oscar-nominated Darkest Hour writer Anthony McCarten — will world-premiere at the Oscar-positioning Telluride Film Festival this weekend, with an additional festival stop at the Toronto International Film Festival scheduled for September.

Watch the first Two Popes trailer above, and see the film’s new poster below.


Related content: