HBO has successfully landed yet another Oscar-winning actress for its television line-up. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Helen Mirren has signed on to play Catherine the Great in a miniseries collaboration between HBO and Europe Sky telling the story of the famous Russian monarch. This news comes shortly after HBO announced that the legendary Meryl Streep would be joining the network’s acclaimed drama Big Little Lies.
The four-part miniseries will follow Catherine the Great’s political and personal lives – and all the scandals that came with them. The show will focus on the end of Catherine’s reign and include the story of her infamous affair with Grigory Potemkin.
Helen Mirren released an enthusiastic statement about her new project with HBO. “I am very excited by the possibility of embodying a woman from history who grabbed and then wielded great power,” the actress said. “She rewrote the rules of governance by a woman, and succeeded to the extent of having the word ‘Great’ attached to her name, Catherine the Great. I am very grateful to have HBO and Sky as partners in this endeavor.”
President of HBO’s miniseries, Kary Antholis, added to Mirren’s comments with HBO’s own statement on the upcoming show. Antholis stated, “We are jubilant about having Helen Mirren back on HBO, playing the iconic Russian empress and joining this distinguished team of British filmmakers. This collaboration will, no doubt, result in a truly regal miniseries.”
Nigel Williams, who worked with both HBO and Mirren in the past on the historical miniseries Elizabeth I, will work as the writer on Catherine the Great. Philip Martin will direct all four parts.
Catherine the Great is expected to air in Europe some time next year. There is no word if the premiere date will be the same for American audiences.