Netflix has revealed the first trailer for The Two Popes. This comes from acclaimed director Fernando Meirelles (The Constant Gardener, City of God), as well as three-time Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten (Darkest Hour, The Theory of Everything). The two have partnered with a couple of A-list stars in the form of Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce to tell the story of one of the most dramatic transitions of power in the last 2,000 years between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis.
The trailer, as anyone might expect, focuses heavily on the dynamic between the two stars. Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce have tremendous chemistry as they feel out the differences that exist between them. They amusingly discuss The Beatles, while also tackling heavier subjects, like the future of the Catholic Church. Regardless of one’s personal religious beliefs, it’s hard to deny the compelling nature of the stakes at play here, and the two performances at the center of that conflict. This looks stylish and like a surefire Oscar contender.
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Netflix has truly ramped things up in their awards contention efforts in recent years. Last year, they scored a Best Picture nomination, and near win, with Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma. This year, they’ve triple downed. Not only do they have this coming down the pipeline, but they’ve also got Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, amongst others. It’s not at all hard to imagine the streaming service walking away with a few major wins come time for the Academy Awards next year with a lineup like that.
The Two Popes centers on Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce), who is frustrated with the direction of the church. He requests permission to retire in 2012 from Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins). Instead, faced with scandal and his own doubts, Pope Benedict calls upon his harshest critic and future successor to Rome and reveals a secret that sent shockwaves through the very foundations of the Catholic Church. Behind the walls of the Vatican, a struggle unfolds between these two very different men, as they tend with tradition and progress, guilt and forgiveness. They must both confront elements from their pasts in order to find common ground and forge a future for billions around the world.
A poster for the movie has also been released, which again focuses on the two leads. It also makes clear that this is inspired by a true story. The movie will have its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival later this week, so we should be getting our first wave of critical reactions and reviews on social media sooner rather than later. The Two Popes is set to arrive in select theaters on November 27 (most likely just so it will qualify for major awards later this year) before arriving for subscribers to stream on December 20 on Netflix streaming service. Be sure to check out the trailer and poster for yourself.