Ever since “Friday Night Lights” came to a conclusion, Kyle Chandler has been heavily sought after for numerous TV projects. But the man who was best known for playing a high school football coach will have a higher calling in his next television role.
Showtime has announced that Chandler has signed on to “The Vatican,” an upcoming drama pilot about the politics and intrigue within the Roman Catholic Church. Chandler will portray Cardinal Thomas Duffy, the unusually progressive Archbishop of New York who is described as “charismatic, yet enigmatic.” However, Chandler’s more modern views will apparently cause some conflict within the church.
“The Vatican” pilot script also deals with the process of choosing a new Pope when the fictional
Pope Sixtus VI passes away. And apparently, there was even a reference in the script about Sixtus potentially resigning; which eerily echoes the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to step down at the end of this month.
As Deadline notes, this may give the production team behind “The Vatican” a chance to actually use a second unit to film in the streets of Vatican City when the next Pope is chosen; which would lend the pilot an even greater sense of authenticity.
Prior to “Friday Night Lights,” Chandler was featured in “Tour of Duty” and “Grey’s Anatomy” in addition to starring in “Early Edition.” More recently, Chandler was featured in the films Super 8, Zero Dark Thirty and Argo.
Film director Ridley Scott is slated to make his television directing debut on the pilot episode of “The Vatican;” which caps an impressive week that included landing an adaptation of Phillip K. Dick's “The Man In the High Tower” on Syfy and an adaptation of Dan Simmons’ “The Terror” at AMC.
“The Vatican” will likely begin filming within a few months.