Casting is already well underway for Showtime’s pilot, The Vatican, a powerful political thriller that will take a look at the modern-day Catholic Church from within its own walls. On Friday, Swiss-born actor Bruno Ganz became the most recent person to join the pilot, taking on the hefty role of the fictional Pope Sixtus VI.

Ganz has acting credits all over the board, including films in English and other European languages. The man doesn’t seem to be afraid of taking on a challenge, notably portraying the role of Adolf Hitler in Downfall and nabbing the role of the pope just a couple of days after the real-life Catholic Church gave the laud to Francis I. According to TV By The Numbers, Ganz’s Sixtus VI will be a man of German ancestry who spends a lot of time thinking about how his actions will be perceived and what legacy he will leave behind after his tenure as pope has ended.

Ridley Scott will direct the project, and while the man has been a big force behind producing TV endeavors, this will be his small screen directorial debut. Additionally, House director Paul Attanasio is writing the project for Showtime. Other cast members also include Pushing Daisies’ Anna Friel and Friday Night Lights’ Kyle Chandler, as well as Matthew Goode and Sebastian Cooke in smaller roles. The pilot is expected to begin production in April and we’ll let you know if The Vatican moves forward sometime after.

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