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The New Pope – Now streaming on Showmax

Jude Law reprises his role as “young pope” Pius XIII, but Sir John Brannox is gunning for his seat of power in The Vatican.

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The New Pope, IMDB’s third-most anticipated TV show of 2020, is now streaming first on Showmax. Jude Law reprises his role as “young pope” Pius XIII. Sir John Brannox, played by John Malkovich (another two-time Oscar nominee), is gunning for his seat of power in The Vatican, and already earning high praise as The New Pope.

The Young Pope, the original 2016 series, made Time Magazine’s list of the Ten Best Mini-series of the 2010s. Law was nominated for a Golden Globe for what The Guardian called “a lacerating performance – his young pope is brutally calculating, occasionally almost charming and never less than terrifying.”

The new series opens with Pius lying in a coma, with his replacement not working well for The Vatican, and pressure mounting to appoint a new pope.

Enter the persuasive, seductive Sir John Brannox – soon to be Pope John Paul III. As The Guardian puts it, “Malkovich plays delicate Brannox with a purring, campy charisma; resplendent in a purple suit, a smudge of mascara beneath watchful eyes”.

The result, The Guardian says, is a series “just as rich and ravishing and gloriously enigmatic,” as its predecessor, a “deep dive into the hidden world of the Vatican City, marvelling at its mystique with agnostic fervour.”

Of course, they didn’t hire Law just so we could watch him sleep, as enjoyable as that is, so sooner or later these two powerhouses are going to face off over that gilded throne.

The New Pope’s supporting cast includes Silvio Orlando, Cécile de France, Javier Cámara and Ludivine Sagnier, returning in their roles from The Young Pope. Ulrich Thomsen (Banshee, The Black List), joins the cast this season, alongside some surprising guest stars: Oscar nominee Sharon Stone stops by the papal office in episode 5, and His Holiness takes the opportunity to ask for her advice on what the church could do “to make itself more eloquent.” It’s a very funny scene (hint, there is some crossing and uncrossing of knees), and there’s a similarly amusing cameo from Marilyn Manson in episode 4.

In Italy, that anticipation led to the January premiere drawing almost 1-million viewers, dwarfing Game of Thrones’ release figures there. And audiences loved it, giving it the highest-ever rating for a Sky drama premiere in Italy.

The New Pope is now available to stream on Showmax.

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