'The Two Popes' on Netflix: Release date, plot, cast, trailer and everything you need to know about the drama starring Anthony Hopkins

Starring Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, this papal bromance film is based on a play written by Anthony McCarten.


                            'The Two Popes' on Netflix: Release date, plot, cast, trailer and everything you need to know about the drama starring Anthony Hopkins

When the arch-conservative Pope Benedict XVI announced that he was to willingly retire citing a "lack of strength of mind and body" due to his advanced age, the world reeled with the news. After all, a willful resignation by a Pope had not happened since Pope Celestine V abdicated after five months in the position in 1294. 

The College of Cardinals rushed to Rome to congregate in the Sistine Chapel to pick an unlikely successor: the now-Pope Francis who is the first non-European pope in 1,200 years. His colorful history includes his one-time stint as a tango club bouncer, a passionate soccer fan, and being a man in touch with the common people.

The upcoming movie from Netflix, 'The Two Popes' is based on a play written by Anthony McCarten and is based on this incident.

Release date

'The Two Popes' is set for a limited release in the United States on November 27, 2019, followed by the digital release on Netflix on December 20, 2019.

Plot

The movie will revolve around Pope Benedict XVI getting to know his successor, someone whose views could undo his legacy. It will also follow how Pope Francis learns to adjust to his life as a leader to more than a billion followers of Christianity worldwide. As Pope Benedict says in the trailer for the movie, "God brings in one Pope to correct the mistakes of another," and the movie will deal with the implications of the two popes' opposing views.

For the most part, the movie will consist of two-handed scenes between Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, exploring these two holy men as just men who are capable of weakness. 

Cast

Anthony Hopkins

Sir Anthony Hopkins attends the US premiere of "Transformers: The Last Knight" at the Civic Opera House on June 20, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois. (Getty Images)

Academy Award-winning actor Anthony Hopkins will play the role of Pope Benedict XVI in the film. Hopkins won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Hannibal Lecter in 'The Silence of the Lambs' and is known for his work in 'The Remains of the Day', 'Amistad', and 'Nixon'.

Pope Benedict XVI was often criticized for his ultra-traditional views on the Church and for staying silent about the rampant sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. After his resignation, he is known as "pope emeritus".

Jonathan Pryce

Jonathan Pryce attends the Nespresso British Academy Film Awards nominees party at Kensington Palace on February 9, 2019, in London, England. (Getty Images)

Jonathan Pryce will play the role of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the future Pope Francis, in the film. Pryce is known for his role as High Sparrow on 'Game of Thrones' as well as his other works which include 'Glengarry Glenn Ross', the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise, and 'The Age of Innocence'.

Pope Francis is known for his humility and concern for the poor and his commitment to interfaith dialogue. He is credited as having a less formal approach to the papacy than his predecessors.

The movie also stars Sidney Cole as Cardinal Peter Turkson, Lisandro Fiks as Father Franz Jalics, Thomas D. Williams as an American journalist, Maria Ucedo as Esther Ballestrine and Italian politician, Emma Bonino as herself.

Writer

Anthony McCarten

Anthony McCarten attends "The Two Popes" premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival at Winter Garden Theatre on September 09, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Getty Images)

Anthony McCarten is a New Zealand-born novelist, playwright, journalist, television writer, and filmmaker and is best known for writing the screenplay for biopics such as 'The Theory of Everything', 'Darkest Hour', and 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. He wrote the screenplay for 'The Two Popes' based on his 2017 play, 'The Pope'.

Director

Fernando Meirelles

Fernando Meirelles attends "The Two Popes" premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival at Winter Garden Theatre on September 09, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Getty Images)

Fernando Meirelles is a Brazilian film director, producer, and screenwriter. He was nominated for an Academy Award for directing 'City of God' and the Golden Globe Award for directing  'The Constant Gardener'. 

Trailer



 

Netflix released the first trailer for the religious drama, and going by the first look it could spell Oscar campaigns for lead actors Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce. From the trailer, the drama seems to revolve around conversations between the two men who would come to symbolize the tension between traditional Catholicism and Pope Francis’ more progressive, humanist approach.

If you like this, you'll love:

'Frost/Nixon'

'The Theory of Everything'

'Darkest Hour'

'The Queen'

'The King'

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