Days before Christmas, cable network Showtime have announced their intention to air a new pilot based on the ‘where’ for the holiday’s religion, with a new pilot called The Vatican being scripted that will be overseen by Sir Ridley Scott.
The 75-year-old English director, who has previously worked on films such as Blade Runner, Gladiator, and Prometheus, will work alongside Sony Television for the project, which will be a scripted behind-the-scenes look at the workings of the Catholic Church in its home of The Vatican.
The series is described as aiming to ‘explore the relationships and the inner workings’ of the organisation of the religious, while a natural side-effect will be the European nation of Vatican City, a tiny European territory (a 0.44km-sq area located within Rome (Italy) that is officially the smallest fully-recognised independent state in the world) that has just under 1,000 citizens, is ruled by the Pope as a monarch, and was created as a means of having a formal administrative home for catholic Christians worldwide free from influence of another nation.
Today, the nation is still independent since being formalised in 1929, and is the subject of many religious events and pilgrimages due to its historic value. TV-wise, the nation’s only presence in broadcasting comes through a minor TV channel (with streaming) and one radio station, but are represented heavily in religious documentaries or specific TV episodes, amongst other genres.
While the series is not going to be one to go behind-the-scenes of real-life Vatican City government issues, the scripted drama is likely to include fictionalised people at the helm of the church. Scott, who identifies himself as an agnostic, will mark his first foray into TV directing with the pilot order, where he will receive assistance from Paul Attanasio (House) as a writer, and Scott and David Zucker as executive producers.
The pilot episode is expected to be a ‘one-hour thriller, but will The Vatican be a hit for Showtime, or will the angle cause controversy against one of its primary target audiences?