Pope John Paul II is a 2005 television miniseries dramatizing the life of Pope John Paul II (Karol Józef Wojtyła) from his early adult years in Poland to his death on 2 April 2005 at age 84.
The film was written and directed by John Kent Harrison and aired in the United States on the CBS network on 4 and 7 December 2005. It was first released in Vatican City on 17 November 2005 and ten days later throughout Italy.
Jon Voight portrays the older Karol Wojtyla (after his investiture as Pope in 1978), while Cary Elwes portrays Wojtyla in his earlier life from 1939 to 1978. Voight was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance.
Pope John Paul II co-stars James Cromwell, as Archbishop Adam Stefan Sapieha, Ben Gazzara, as Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, and Christopher Lee as Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. Polish actor Mikolaj Grabowski is seen twice playing Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, who would succeed John Paul II as Pope Benedict XVI on 19 April 2005.
Part 1: (4 December 2005)
The film opens with 13 May 1981's Pope John Paul II assassination attempt by Mehmet Ali Agca, then while he is on his way to and inside Gemelli Hospital, flashes back to the young Karol "Lolek" Wojtyla whose faith and values are initially fostered by his loving, devout parents, who, along with his older brother, die of natural causes when Karol is 20 years old.