Helen Mirren to Star in HBO Miniseries “Catherine the Great” From the Director of “The Crown”

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Helen Mirren Catherine the GreatGetty Images

Oscar winner is set to star in HBO and Sky’s four-part miniseries , which hails from writer Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I) and director Philip Martin (The Crown), it was announced early Thursday morning.

Catherine the Great will follow the 18th century Russian monarch at the end of her reign, and explore her affair with Grigory Potemkin.

Origin Pictures and New Pictures are producing the miniseries, which will be executive produced Origin’s David M. Thompson and Charlie Pattinson of New Pictures, as well as Mirren and Martin, who previously worked together on the ITV drama Prime Suspect.

Production will start later this year, and the miniseries will air on HBO in the U.S. and Sky Atlantic in the U.K. and Europe.

“I am very excited by the possibility of embodying a woman from history who grabbed and then wielded great power. She rewrote the rules of governance by a woman, and succeeded to the extent of having the word Great attached to her name,” said Mirren.

Mirren was nominated for a Golden Globe this year for her turn opposite Donald Sutherland in The Leisure Seeker. The revered actress stars in CBS Films’ horror movie Winchester, directed by the Spierig brothers, and she has also wrapped Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Mirren will also co-star alongside Cillian Murphy and Luke Evans in Luc Besson’s next film Anna. She’s represented by .

Interesting side note: Barbra Streisand had been developing a Catherine the Great movie with Keira Knightley attached to star, and while I don’t know what Knightley’s status is with regards to the project, I’m fairly certain that Streisand has moved on, and the producers are seeking a new director. The point is, that project, based on a script that topped the Black List several years ago, appears to be no threat to HBO’s Catherine the Great miniseries.

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