Anthony McCarten

Screenwriter and producer Anthony McCarten has penned the Oscar-winning lead acting roles in biopics such as “The Theory of Everything,” “Darkest Hour” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” as of late. His latest film is “The Two Popes,” which tells the story of Pope Benedict’s 2013 resignation as head of the Catholic Church, and current Pope Francis’ reluctant acceptance of the Chair of St. Peter. The script presents a struggle of wills and ideas, Benedict representing the Church’s strong traditionalist roots, and Francis representing a clear and present necessity for growth and change. In order to really capture these two men with respect and compassion, however, McCarten says he had to go beyond taking sides. He had to understand them, to absorb views counter to his own and synthesize something he calls the overarching crisis in the world today: a crisis of listening. In this episode of “The Call Sheet,” McCarten discusses how he simultaneously developed both a screenplay and a play around this material and what the subjects of “The Two Popes” share with some of those towering individuals he’s written as of late.

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