Ridley Scott’s THE VATICAN Pilot Dead at Showtime

     December 12, 2013


It appears that Ridley Scott’s first foray into television as a director won’t actually be making it to television.  The filmmaker signed on to helm the pilot for the potential Showtime series The Vatican last year with Kyle Chandler in the lead role, but the network has decided not to move forward with the show.  Described as a contemporary thriller, the aim of the series was to explore spirituality, power, and politics against the backdrop of the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic Church.  THR reports that the expensive pilot did not turn out well, and difficulties with showrunner Paul Attanasio—including failure to meet deadlines and clashing with colleagues—led to his exit once they wrapped.  Hit the jump for more.

The failure of The Vatican to move forward to series is a disappointing turnout for sure, not only because it was Scott’s first foray into television but also because Chandler chose the project among many, many offers; the Friday Night Lights actor was one of the most sought-after talents this past pilot season.  He’ll surely land on his feet, though, as he’ll next be seen on the big screen in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.  Scott, meanwhile, is busy directing the Biblical epic Exodus starring Christian Bale as Moses.

As for new Showtime series that will be moving forward, the network is currently in production on the horror show Penny Dreadful from Skyfall writer John Logan and director Sam Mendes, who acts as executive producer.  That show stars Josh Hartnett and Eva Green and will debut sometime next year.


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  • Mixed Race rich kid NYC

    People really think that they are being edgy, brave or controversial when they attack Christianity and its followers
    Call me when they take shots at Islam and Mohammed

    • Hamish

      Yeah, I want to see that Showtime has the cajones to do a origin story DEPICTING Mohammed onscreen. Because that would go over so well……

    • October_1985

      Don’t you get tired of using always the same lame argument? Without knowing anything of the show, you inmediately assume that it would “attack” the Christianity… maybe because you know that there are many things attackable in that organization. And you should try and learn a little a small difference, most of the times, what you call attacks (I call it exposing the truth) are not against the belief itself, but against the institutions, that, as any institution are subjected to corruption, crime, machinations, etc… If you believe that there is nothing of that in the Catholic Church, go read a paper.

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  • icarusSol

    Ummm Adam, that would not have been Ridley Scott’s first foray into Television:

    Numb3rs (Producer, 2005–2010)

    The Good Wife (Executive producer, 2009–present)

    The Pillars of the Earth (Executive producer, 2010)

    Prophets of Science Fiction (Executive producer, 2011)

    Gettysburg (Executive producer, 2011)

    Britain in a Day (Executive producer, 2012)

    Coma (Developer, 2012)

    World Without End (Executive producer, 2012)

    Labyrinth (Executive producer, 2012)

    Killing Lincoln (Developer, 2013)


    • ThisGuy01


      • Adam Chitwood

        Yes, I should have clarified this was his first time directing in television.

      • HeSaidSheSaidReviewSite

        Reading these last few posts reminds of me that “Ooohhh she told you” commercial.

      • chris13

        His directing career started off in television in the uk. He was a director on about five different television shows over a number of years for the BBC, Z-cars and adam adamant being two of them.

  • Jane

    Eh. Didn’t sound that interesting anyway. Showtime should have just kept The Borgias for another season.


    Sounds lame. Every other show these days has “political machinations” and lots of FUCKING. Lots and lots of gratuitous FUCKING.

  • The Flobbit

    Dammit. I really wanted to see this. Maybe they’ll release the pilot somewhere online.

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