Swiss actor Bruno Ganz, best known for portraying Adolf Hitler in "Downfall", has landed a role in a drama pilot for Showtime titled "The Vatican". Ganz is cast to play soft-spoken, fictional Pope Sixtus VI, who is described as "an unassuming and introspective caretaker of the Church, who struggles with his own legacy, and how history will judge his papacy."
Ganz, who takes on the role two days after the the election of real new Pope Francis I, joins the cast that includes Kyle Chandler as progressive New York Cardinal Thomas Duffy and Anna Friel as Duffy's very secular, hard-living younger sister. The pilot also casts Matthew Goode as Papal Secretary Bernd Koch, Sebastian Koch as Cardinal Marco Malerba and Ewen Bremner as Monsignor Alberico Iemma.
"The Vatican", penned by "House M.D." writer Paul Attanasio, is a drama about spirituality, power and politics set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic Church. "Gladiator" director Ridley Scott will direct the TV pilot, marking the first time he takes charge of a TV pilot. Attanasio, Scott and "The Good Wife" executive producer David Zucker will serve as the executive producers of the pilot. The production will begin in April.