When the fabulous Helen Mirren knows she wants to do something, she simply goes after it and makes it happen. Case in point her just announced project for HBO and Sky, in which she’ll play the role she’s always wanted — Russian Empress Catherine II, aka Catherine the Great.
Mirren brought the idea to Origin Pictures herself back in 2015, and she’ll not only headline the miniseries, she’ll also executive produce. Told in four parts, Catherine the Great will follow the transformative leader both in her role as Empress, and through her relationship with Grigory Potemkin who, rumor has it, she may have secretly married. Sky calls Catherine ““the definition of the modern woman”, wielding supreme power throughout Russia for nearly half of the 18th century, and was “strong-minded, independent, brilliantly intelligent and sexually liberated” and honestly, who better to play this woman? Mirren stated,
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, Catherine the Great.”
The miniseries will be written by Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I), directed by Philip Martin (The Crown, The Tunnel, Wallander, Prime Suspect), and filming is scheduled for later this year,