Ridley Scott to Direct ‘The Vatican’ Pilot for Showtime

Ridley Scott, director of blockbusters such as Alien and Gladiator, will helm the pilot of Showcase's The Vatican

Famed director Ridley Scott lends his talents to Showcase for new pilot, The Vatican

Showtime has just landed a major talent to helm its new pilot, The Vatican. The network has announced that Ridley Scott is attached to direct the first episode of what is being called as a “provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics – set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic Church.”

This is far from the first time that Scott has dabbled in television. He has been the producer behind series like The Good Wife, Numb3rs, The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, though he has never directed a pilot before. Scott hasn’t directed for television since the 1960s, before Alien was released.

Papal stories have been something of a hot topic in recent years. Showtime’s The Borgias, which stars Jeremy Irons, follows Pope Alexander VI and the Borgia dynasty at the pinnacle of the Roman Catholic Church. A third season of the show is coming in 2013. Similarly, Tom Fontana’s hit European series Borgia is about to be sold for U.S. audiences, and is already available on Netflix.

Donnie Brasco scribe and two-time Oscar nominee Paul Attanasio wrote the hour-long pilot script for The Vatican. The series will go into production in 2013 for series consideration. The Good Wife‘s David Zucker, Scott and Attanasio will act as executive producers.