HBO has revealed the first look of Helen Mirren in the title role of the upcoming mini-series Catherine the Great, which is set to air on HBO. The image, as you can see, shows Mirren as Empress Catherine in full regalia while standing in her private quarters.
Catherine the Great is a four-part drama that delves into the politically-tumultuous and sexually-charged court of the most powerful female monarch in history. Catherine wielded supreme power throughout Russia for nearly half of the 18th century – strong-minded, independent, brilliantly-intelligent and sexually-liberated, she was the definition of the modern woman.
The mini-series, set to start filming later this year, will follow Catherine towards the end of her reign and her passionate affair with Grigory Potemkin. Amid scandal, intrigue and immense conflict, this is a story of obsessive love. Unable to publicly marry and famously promiscuous, they develop a unique and devoted relationship, overcoming their adversaries and together shaping Russia as we know it today.
Catherine the Great, produced by Origin Pictures and New Pictures, will air on Sky Atlantic and TV streaming service NOW TV in the UK and Ireland next year, and on Sky Atlantic in Italy, Germany, Austria and Sky’s recently launched service in Spain. The miniseries will air on HBO in the US and HBO Canada in Canada, through HBO’s output deal with Bell Media.
Written by Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I, Wodehouse in Exile) and directed by BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning Philip Martin (The Crown, Mo, Prime Suspect), Catherine the Great will be executive produced by David M. Thompson (Woman in Gold, Death Comes to Pemberley) for Origin Pictures and Charlie Pattinson (Elizabeth I, The Missing, Skins) for New Pictures, Helen Mirren and Philip Martin. Jules Hussey (Hooten and the Lady) is producing.
It is commissioned by Sky’s director of programmes Zai Bennett, Sky’s head of drama Anne Mensah and commissioning editor for Sky drama, Cameron Roach. Sky Vision will handle distribution rights.
Catherine the Great is the third Sky and HBO project to be greenlit through an international partnership to develop big-scale drama, under a $250m multi-year co-production investment deal announced last year. The first commission from the global partnership was Chernobyl, a dramatisation of the true story of one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, starring Jared Harris (The Crown, Mad Men), with the second titled Gangs of London (w/t), a fresh and original gangland thriller set to take viewers on an adrenaline-fuelled journey into the hidden heart of the capital. Both shows will be coming exclusively to Sky Atlantic and NOW TV in the UK & Ireland.