HBO had The Young Pope, now Netflix is going to have The Pope. (Not young, not old, just pope.) The film, which does not yet have a release date, focuses on the recent papal events, starting with the election if Pope Benedict after John Paul II's death, his short lived reign, and sudden "retirement," a first in history. Anthony Hopkins is still in talks to play the lead role of Benedict, but at least one of the multiple popes is set, with Game of Thrones' Jonathan Pryce cast as Pope Francis.
Jonathan Pryce, as most will recall, was only just on our televisions as The High Sparrow, the "Pope" like figure of Westeros, who came to power as the fundamentalist leader of The Faith of the Seven. Just prior to his two year stint on Game of Thrones, he played Cardinal Woolsey in the UK adaptation of Wolf Hall. Woolsey was another famous historical religious leader, the head of the Church in England in the 1500s. He was deposed and killed when Henry VIII overthrew the Catholic Church so he could get a divorce and marry Anne Boleyn.
This will be the third major religious figure he's played in three years.
Deadline calls the choice "intriguing, but fans of Game of Thrones know it's actually the next logical step. When Pope Francis came to power during the High Sparrow's reign, new organizations noted how similar Pryce looked to the new pope, with CBS noting that they've found the right choice to cast in Francis' inevitable biopic.
Some even accused the new Pope of secretly starring in Game of Thrones as the High Sparrow. After all, they've never been seen together.
Whether or not the casting directors took note of that at the time or it was just a lucky casting call is something we'll have to wait for in the making of documentary. In the meantime, we're glad to see the High Sparrow has found a new flock. We do hope he'll have wildfire detectors installed in the Vatican though. It's a nasty way to go.