Pope John Paul II is a 2005 television miniseries dramatizing the life of Pope John Paul II 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 Karol Wojtyla in Scene 1's opening on May 13, 1981, while Cary Elwes portrays Karol Wojtyla from Scene 2 of the film up to Scene 11, which starts with his election to the papacy on 16 October 1978 after the sudden death of Pope John Paul I, whose pontificate lasted only 33 days. After accepting the nomination of the Cardinalate, Elwes is seen being escorted to be fitted in papal vestments, at which point Academy Award winner Jon Voight returns to the title role. 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.