Anthony Hopkins in ‘Two Popes’ May be a Future Oscar Contender

By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter    

First stop: theaters. Second stop: Netflix. Third stop: the Academy Awards?

Palisadian Anthony Hopkins—a former honorary mayor—and Jonathan Pryce are starring in “The Two Popes,” a Netflix original film with a limited theatrical release that began on November 27.

The film has already begun generating Oscar buzz: This drama-comedy takes place behind the walls of the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI (Hopkins) and the future Pope Francis (Pryce) must find common ground to forge a new path for the Catholic Church.

“Jonathan captured the soul of Pope Francis,” the film’s director, Fernando Meirelles, told the Los Angeles Times. “Hopkins has given Benedict a charisma that we, the general public, may not be aware of, which helped the film.”

If you’re still undecided, it’s worth noting that along with director and Academy Award nominee Meirelles (“City of God”), three-time Academy Award nominee Anthony McCarten (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) wrote the screenplay.

“I think great dialogue is as good as a car chase in terms of being fascinating, exciting and keeping you on the edge of your seat,” McCarten said in an interview with Deadline. The sought-after screenwriter shared he researched extensively in order to make the film as believable as possible.

If history is any indication, three actors who have starred in movies written by McCarten have won a Best Actor Academy Award for their roles.

Cinematographer César Charlone, and producers Dan Lin (“The Lego Movie”), Tracey Seaward (“Philomena,” “The Queen”) and Jonathan Eirich add to the power team of filmmaking heavy hitters.

Rotten Tomatoes grants the film an 89% rating with 126 reviews to back it.

The film originally premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on August 31. The Netflix original will be released on its digital streaming service on December 20.

The film is rated PG-13 with a runtime of two hours and five minutes.