If you like strange, beautiful television shows about fictional papacies, I have good news for you: HBO is working on a Young Pope follow-up. The show, called The New Pope, will be a limited series created and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
None of the cast has been announced yet, and it’s not clear if the series will be a sequel to The Young Pope, set in the same universe, or just a riff on the first season’s ideas — like True Detective’s second season was. Although much is still unknown, there’s one question I’m required by law to ask: what will the memes be like?
Jude Law’s turn as Pope Pius XIII was meme-ready as soon as HBO’s promo materials for the show hit the internet. Almost immediately, there were song parodies about the show, prestige television memes, fresh takes on old classics, and even Young Pope-related Obama memes. Poor Jude didn’t even know what a meme was until he started doing press for the show, at which point the hundreds of online riffs became impossible for him to ignore.
Because no one really knew what The Young Pope was about until after they watched it, promo stills from the series (and the idea of a pope whose only descriptor was “young”) presented a chance for the internet to really flex its creative muscles. Plus the idea for the show sounded ridiculous, especially without any context.
At the end of its run, The Young Pope’s plot moved away from Pope Pius, so it’s anyone’s guess who the new pope will be. All we can do is hope he looks good in a tracksuit.
The New Pope will reportedly go into production in late 2018.