Jude Law’s ‘Young Pope’ Travels to Japan With Kadokawa

Leo Barraclough

Kadokawa Corporation has taken all rights in Japan to 10-part drama “The Young Pope,” which stars Jude Law as Lenny Belardo, Pope Pius XIII, and Diane Keaton as Sister Mary. The show was directed by Paolo Sorrentino, who helmed the Academy Award-winning “The Great Beauty.”

The series is a joint production of Sky, HBO and Canal Plus, which hold rights in their home territories. The international distribution rights (outside of partner territories) are held by FremantleMedia Intl., which has sold the show to C More (Pan-Scandinavia), MNET (Pan-Africa), HBO (Pan-CEE), BETV (Belgium), OTE TV (Greece), 365 (Iceland), Sky (New Zealand), Hot (Israel), TV4 (Sweden), Videoland (Netherlands) and FOX (Netherlands).

The drama tells the story of Belardo, the first American Pope. “Young and charming, his election seems to be the result of a simple yet effective media strategy on the part of the College of Cardinals. But appearances can be deceptive,” according to a statement. “Above all, in the place and among the people who have chosen the great mystery of God as the compass guiding their existence. That place is the Vatican and those people are the leaders of the Church. And Pius XIII proves to be the most mysterious and contradictory of them all.”

All 10 episodes are directed by Sorrentino, and written by Sorrentino in collaboration with Tony Grisoni, Umberto Contarello and Stefano Rulli.

“The Young Pope” is produced by Wildside, in which FremantleMedia has a majority stake, and co-produced by Haut et Court TV. Executive producers for Wildside are Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani together with John Lyons. Executive producers for Haut et Court TV are Caroline Benjo, Carole Scotta and Simon Arnal.

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