Showtime has drafted former Friday Night Lights star Kyle Chandler to star in its new drama pilot The Vatican, the cable network announced Friday.
The Emmy winner formerly known as Coach has taken the lead role as Cardinal Thomas Duffy, a charismatic yet mysterious Archbishop of New York whose progressive leanings enthuse some and worry others within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. The modern-day thriller, set to begin production sometime this year, will also star Watchmen's Matthew Goode and A Good Day to Die Hard's Sebastian Koch.
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Goode will play Papal Secretary Bernd Koch, the current Pope's closest confidante. Koch has been cast as Cardinal Marco Malerba, the Vatican's Secretary of State.
The project reunites Chandler with Showtime head David Nevins, who served as an executive producer on Friday Night Lights. "Kyle Chandler is one of the most talented and sought-after actors working today, and was a fantastic creative partner through five seasons of Friday Night Lights," Nevins said in a statement. "With Kyle, Matthew Goode and Sebastian Koch, Ridley and Paul have put together a powerhouse cast to anchor this incredibly timely show."
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The Vatican is the first TV project for three-time Oscar nominee Ridley Scott (Gladiator), who will direct the pilot written by two-time Oscar nominee Paul Attanasio (House). Both will executive-produce with David Zucker (The Good Wife).
Following the end of Friday Night Lights, Chandler has appeared in a slew of big-screen films including Oscar Best Picture nominees Argo and Zero Dark Thirty.
Are you excited to possibly see Chandler back on TV?