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Jude Law is to play a fictional Italian-American Pope in a new television series directed by Paolo Sorrentino.
The British actor will play the fictional Pius XIII in The Young Pope, which is being made by HBO, Sky and France's Canal Plus.
Law will play Lenny Belardo who is thrust into the role of Pontiff and must grapple with his faith and the powerful structures of the church.
Sorrentino, who will co-write the eight-part series, said it would explore "the inner struggle between the huge responsibility of the head of the Catholic Church and the miseries of the simple man that fate (or the Holy Spirit) chose as Pontiff".
"No one, even at the Vatican, is prepared for how hard-line this American Pope really is," Tony Grisoni, who is one of the writers, recently told Variety.
The announcement was made at Cannes Film Festival where the Italian director's film Youth is competing for the Palme D'Or.
Sorrentino won the foreign language Oscar last year for The Great Beauty.
Filming on the series is due to begin this summer.