Showtime's 'The Vatican' Casts 'Downfall's' Hitler as Its Pope

Yahoo! TV

Francis isn't the only newly anointed pontiff.

Showtime announced that it has cast the role of Pope Sixtus VI for its new series, "The Vatican." Getting the holy role: Bruno Ganz.

Showtime describes Ganz's character as "an unassuming and introspective caretaker of the Church, who struggles with his own legacy, and how history will judge his papacy."

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Which is pretty much the opposite of the role Ganz is best known for. In 2004, the highly respected German actor gave a tour-de-force performance as Adolf Hitler in "Downfall."

The film focused on the last days in Hitler's underground bunker during the end of World War II. Ganz's critically acclaimed performance became something of an Internet meme several years ago when people began inserting humorous subtitles during scenes in which an insane and irrational Hitler screams at his subordinates.

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Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights"), Matthew Goode ("Watchmen"), and Anna Friel ("Pushing Daisies")  will also star in "The Vatican." The drama will focus on the rivalries and relationships that occur away from the public eye. The pilot episode will be directed by Ridley Scott ("Gladiator," "Alien," "Black Hawk Down").

Watch a Hitler parody featuring Rebecca Black's "Friday" (Warning: Clip contains adult language):