Bruno Ganz is to play Pope Sixtus VI in the upcoming drama pilot of "The Vatican," Showtime announced.

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The Swiss actor, 72, is known for his roles in "The Manchurian Candidate," "Downfall," "Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II," "Youth Without Youth," "The Reader" and "Unknown."

The cable network describes the fictional, contemporary pontiff in "The Vatican" as being an "unassuming and introspective caretaker of the Church, who struggles with his own legacy, and how history will judge his papacy."

The pilot will star Kyle Chandler, Anna Friel, Matthew Goode, Sebastian Koch and Ewen Bremner. It is being directed by Ridley Scott.