Jude Law is up to some questionable papal behavior in the new trailer for HBO’s upcoming limited series The Young Pope.
With a cigarette in hand and a cool pair of shades resting on the brim of his nose, Law gives a new face to the Catholic Church as the maverick Bishop of Rome, Lenny Belardo, in Paolo Sorrentino’s searing drama, and his character’s unorthodox ways as the youngest pope in history (and the first American to rise to power) are rubbing his peers the wrong way.
“Everyone is afraid of you,” says Sister Mary (Diane Keaton), who raised Belardo in an orphanage.
“I don’t care about your opinions, and I’m up for the task,” Law later says. “I don’t care if you think I’m weak or a scoundrel.”
James Cromwell also makes an appearance in the new trailer as a cardinal who openly criticizes Belardo’s rule. “The young are always more extreme than the old,” he says. “You’ll be a terrible pope. The most dangerous in modern times.”
The seemingly ruthless Belardo, who uses intimidation tactics, weathers media scandals, and soaks up the Vatican’s juiciest gossip in the extended preview, doesn’t take kindly to detractors.
“I’m ready to wage a war without end against you,” he says. “I know everything a powerful man needs to know about the people he works with, and I am the most powerful man of all.”
The series hails from Sorrentino, who wowed critics on the festival circuit in 2015 with his stunning meditation on aging entertainment figures, Youth, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Previously, the Italian film director — known for his films’ lavish production design, costumes, and lush cinematography — earned an Oscar win in the Best Foreign Language Film category for his work on 2013’s The Great Beauty.
The Young Pope marks Sorrentino’s first foray into the realm of episodic television, as he both created and wrote the series, which premieres in the U.S. Jan. 15 on HBO. Watch the show’s new trailer above.