Between Pope Pius XIII’s (Jude Law) comatose state, John Malkovich’s addition to the cast as Pope John Paul III, and the fact that The Young Pope is now titled The New Pope, the second installment of Paolo Sorrentino’s wildly surreal series is shaping up to be an odd one. Never fear, of course, for Law’s American-born pope, Lenny Belardo, is still alive and fully capable of wearing increasingly small costumes. Judging by Malkovich’s replacement head of the papacy, however, it seems The New Pope is setting up one hell of a duel.
“Everyone in the world should know who the pope is,” Malkovich’s pope, the English aristocrat Sir John Brannox, explains in the new trailer for the series’s sophomore season. “It’s not vanity. It’s necessity.”
Sure, but considering the fact that the next voice describes him as “a magnificent person” who is also “far more volatile” than his predecessor, it’s a sure bet that the new pope’s reign is going to be anything but smooth. He even admits as much in another scene previewed in the trailer. “I’m irresponsible. I’m indolent. I’m pompous. I’m conceited,” he says during his confession. When his confessor asks if he’s finished, John Paul III responds in kind: “Is that not enough?”
It seems it will be, though judging by the trailer’s cliffhanger — which sees Piux XIII potentially waking up from his otherwise unimpeachable medical state — The New Pope is going to be anything but a picnic for John Paul III. No, it’s going to be a fight to the finish… and Malkovich had better think fast.