Vatican City

Ridley Scott filming 'Vatican' pilot in Rome

Bruno Ganz plays fictional Pope Sixtus VI

Ridley Scott filming 'Vatican' pilot in Rome

Vatican City, April 11 - Ridley Scott and his crew were in front of the Vatican on Thursday filming the pilot episode of a thriller TV series. Produced by Showtime, 'Vatican' stars Bruno Ganz as a fictional present-day Pope Sixtus VI - the last pope to take the name Sixtus was Felice Peretti di Montalto, Sixtus V. The series follows the life of a New York archbishop, Cardinal Thomas Duff, played by Kyle Chandler. Scott, who last filmed in Rome while shooting Gladiator, was joined by screenwriter Paul Attanasio, known for penning the popular American TV show House. Tourists and pilgrims alike were rubbernecking around the crew in Pius III Square (Piazza Pio XII) at the top of via della Conciliazione, the main road that leads to St Peter's Square. Scott is reportedly paying the city of Rome 50,000 euros a day to shoot inside the square, which faces the facade of St Peter's Basilica where just last month Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis. The Vatican denied Scott's request to film inside the Vatican itself, sources said. Known for such cult and commercial hits as Bladerunner, Alien and Thelma & Louise, Scott is expected to portray the power and politics inside the contemporary Holy See. Other Rome locations include this historic Via Veneto of La Dolce Vita fame. Production is slated to continue in Rome for several weeks before moving to Hungary. The name of the pilot is said to be The Portrait. (Photo: Pilgrims in St Peter's Square for the inauguration of Pope Francis)

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