Italian director Paolo Sorrentino is working on a follow up to the Sky Atlantic and HBO hit TV show The Young Pope.

The series, which is expected to have a fixed run of episodes, will act as a second instalment rather than as a sequel to the first, and is set in the world of the modern papacy.

That means Jude Law’s cherry coke zero-drinking pontiff Lenny Belardo will probably not return for The New Pope – that is the actual name of the series.

Just like The Young Pope, Sorrentino is writing the script for the new show, but it will have a different twist than what would be expected, Sky Italia chief of content Andrea Scrosati told Variety.

The Oscar-winning Italian director, known for his social satire and controversial films, has decided to keep details of the new show under wraps.

Casting for the new show is already under way, with production scheduled for late 2018.

Although it has made clear that Law’s pope will not be The New Pope, Variety has reported a source as saying an appearance by the chain-smoking Pius XIII has not been ruled out.

But – spoiler alert – for those who have finished the first season, Lenny’s reappearance in a follow up series remains possible, if unlikely.

In the tenth and final episode of the show, the camera zooms away from Lenny as he spots the Virgin Mary after suffering a heart attack.

One day I will die, and I will finally be able to embrace you all one by one, he says.

But this is Sorrentino, and nothing is certain.

The director is currently shooting a movie based on former Italian president Silvio Berlusconi called Loro, which translates to both Them and Gold.

The Young Pope was Sky Atlantic’s first pan-European production, involving HBO and France’s Canal Plus.

:: The Young Pope is available on demand from Sky Atlantic.

(c) Sky News 2017: Young Pope creator Sorrentino working on new series

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