Fictional popes

I recently saw again the movie(based on a book) The Shoes of the Fisherman. Anthony Quinn plays a Russian priest, Roman rite, who becomes Pope Kiril.

I once read another book titled The Vicar of Christ, in which and American becomes pope as Francis I.

I also saw another film,can’t remember the title, in which the new pope gets accidentally locked out of the Vatican grounds and decides to not return immediately, instead kind of taking a walking tour of Italy. He does come back though.

What other fiction have you seen that has a pope invented for the story? There must have been more than these.

The Road to Gandolfo by Robert Ludlum. I think Godfather III featured the Pope at some point. And of course the HBO series The Young Pope and its sequel The New Pope.

My memory is that it was someone portraying John Paul I.

It’s low-hanging fruit, but the HBO series, The Young Pope/The New Pope. Entirely fictional, but gad, what interesting pope interpretations.

On The Closer, J.K. Simmons plays Chief Pope.

(You knew someone was going to say it eventually.)

OK, here’s one for real: Foul Play has a fictional pope attending a Mikado performance in Frisco where a terrorist group is going to assassinate him.

There is, of course, the Space Pope.

Robbie Coltrane in “The Pope Must Die”, simply credited as “the pope”.

Jurgen becomes pope (among other things) in James Branch Cabell’s satirical fantasy novel Jurgen, a Comedy of Justice.

If we count folklore, there’s Pope Joan. The legend says a woman hid her sex and rose through the ranks to become pope. She got pregnant, went into labor during a parade, was discovered by the masses and torn to pieces.

Clive Barker’s play Crazyface has the protagonist meeting a pope who is secretly a woman.

There’s a movie about Pope Joan (made after a novel):

I had thought he was an unnamed pope, and was supposed to be taken as being the current real-life pope, but IMDb and Wikipedia both list the role as Pope Pius XIII, so apparently he was indeed a fictional pope.

Interestingly, there was a real Pope Pius XIII, for some values of real. He was an antipope, elected by the schismatic, sedevancantist, conclavist “True Roman Catholic Church” in 1998, serving until his death in 2009.

Ah, Kojak - Bang bang!

My favorite of Anthony Burgess’ novels Earthly Powers has an English author based on Somerset Maugham recounting his relationship with a pope based on John XXIII

Dan Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos.

I just remembered- we meet a pope in The Quest For Saint Acquin. He’s a pious and good man who hides his fisherman’s ring in a hollow shoe heel because the Technarchy punishes Christianity (and Judaism) with death.

I’ve always liked the idea of a “Pope Teilhard”.

There’s Futurama’s Space Pope.

Also, there’s the “Joshua” series of books that could best be described as “Catholic religion porn” about a layman that is elected Pope, and it becomes clear that he’s the Second Coming.

There is also a musical produced by Michael Butler (who produced the original Hair)

The original production was done in Chicago in 1995 and started a young Cecily Strong (of SNL fame) as the young Joan.

Does the one in Greenwich Village count?

I think you’re thinking of Saving Grace