‘The New Pope’ Trailer Introduces John Malkovich’s Flashy Church Leader

     November 3, 2019


There’s approximately zero things wrong with HBO’s latest teaser trailer for The New Pope starring John Malkovich and Jude Law. A follow-up season to The Young Pope from the mind of Italian director Paolo SorrentinoThe New Pope promises just as lots of intrigue, iffy definitions of and adherence to the word of God, and so much flashiness from the Vatican’s number one resident, the Pope.


Image via HBO

This time around, the Pope will be played by Malkovich — and he’s something of a wild card. In the trailer, we see this new Pope settling into his new role as if he was born for it. He swans around the Vatican, trailed by cardinals and press alike and seems to bask in the praise and adoration from fellow Catholics while going for a ride in the Popemobile.

But Malkovich’s Pope is a man seemingly riddled with failings that he recognizes in himself (wow, hard same) and recites them while in confession. He tells a cardinal, “I’m irresponsible, I’m indolent, I’m pompous, I’m conceited.” It’s quite possible this new Pope is referring to his previously life which is seemingly also teased in the trailer. Around the 0:22 mark, we get a glimpse of Sir John Brannox, the Pope’s identity pre-papacy, and he looks like a magnificent dandy with a wide-brimmed hat, bowtie, and he’s wearing eyeliner. Hel-lo!


Image via HBO

Elsewhere in the trailer, we are allow to affix our peepers to the incredible image of former Pope Lenny Belardo (Law), lying in a gilded room somewhere in the Vatican, hooked up to a ventilator and clearly hanging on to life, and looking positively angelic in the glow of a neon cross straight off the set of Baz Luhrmann‘s Romeo + Juliet. The new Pope clearly still feels Lenny is a threat of his occupation as head of the Catholic church and it’s easy to see where the rest of the conflict will be coming from this season.

All nine episodes of The New Pope were directed by Sorrentino. The series was co-written by Sorrentino, Umberto Contarello, and Stefano Bises. In addition to Law, returning cast members last seen in The Young Pope include Silvio Orlando, Javier Cámara, Cécile de France, Ludivine Sagnier, and Maurizio Lombardi. Additionally, new cast members include Henry Goodman, Ulrich Thomsen, Mark Ivanir, Yuliya Snigir, and Massimo Ghini. And buckle up because The New Pope features two very special guest stars: Sharon Stone and Marilyn Manson.

The New Pope debuts on HBO in January 2020. Check out the latest teaser trailer below: