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Ridley Scott to Direct Showtime's 'The Vatican'

December 21, 2012 (7:42 am) GMT
The award-winning 'Gladiator' helm is set to direct his first-ever TV pilot, which has Paul Attanasio serving as the screenwriter.

TV/film channel Showtime will kick off the 2013 season with a new TV project, tapping two industry big shots for "The Vatican". "Alien" director Ridley Scott is set to direct the pilot of the new show, while the script will be done by screenwriter and TV/film producer Paul Attanasio, best-known for being the executive producer of the television medical drama "". Both Scott and Attanasio will executive produce with "" 's David Zucker.

Described as "a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics -- set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic Church," the new hour-long series will explore the mysteries behind one of the world's most guarded institutions. Production is set to begin next year, with Sony Pictures Television at the helm.

The award-winning Scott has directed some of the industry's most commercially-successful and critically-acclaimed films, such as "Blade Runner" (1982), "Thelma & Louise" (1991), "Gladiator" (2000), "Black Hawk Down" (2001), and "Kingdon of Heaven" (2005). He has been nominated for Academy Awards for Directing, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the British film industry.

Attanasio started writing for television with the CBS sitcom "Doctor Doctor". In 1994, he wrote the screenplay adaptation for the Oscar-nominated drama "Quiz Show". In 2000, he returned to television as an executive producer to several TV shows before creating the highly-popular medical drama "House M.D.".

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