Julianne Moore leads new 17th century royal drama ‘Mary & George’

A new British historical drama series starring Julianne Moore has been announced.

Best known for her roles in The Hours and Still Alice, the Oscar-winning actress will bring to life the extraordinary true story of Mary Villiers.

The “deliciously dangerous” eight-part limited series has been commissioned by AMC and Sky Atlantic.

Based on Benjamin Woolley’s non-fiction book The King’s Assassin, the show has been written by playwright and Killing Eve writer DC Moore.

Mary & George will dramatise the fascinating true story of Mary Villiers, Countess of Buckingham.

Born in 1570, Villiers moulded her beautiful son, George, to seduce King James I and become his all-powerful royal favourite. Through outrageous scheming, the pair rose from humble beginnings to become the richest, most titled, and influential mother and son England had ever seen.

Writer and executive producer DC Moore commented: “Since I first read about Mary Villiers’ life – and all she achieved with her son, George – I’ve been obsessed with bringing this story to the screen.

“Between King James’ often-overlooked love and lust for men, Mary’s extraordinary rise as a woman in a man’s world, and George’s (many, many) sexual and political conquests, this is a profoundly rich, and, as yet entirely untold on screen, story, about a pair of ‘commoners’ who conquered all before them.”

Discussing what attracted her to the role, Julianne Moore explained: “Mary Villiers was a woman who through her own actions rose to become a powerful and influential figure in Jacobean London. It’s a daunting but exhilarating challenge to bring her to life on screen.”

Executive producer Liza Marshall added: “The incredible Julianne Moore is our dream casting for Mary – a woman who was damned by her contemporaries but was always the smartest person in the room.

“Indomitable women like Mary have too often been written out of history but with DC Moore’s brilliant scripts and Oliver Hermanus at the helm, we will reclaim her story to make a truly unique, unmissable show.”

The series is set to begin filming in the UK in January, with filmmaker Oliver Hermanus directing.

Hermanus is the director of Bill Nighty’s acclaimed upcoming film Living, set in 1950s London.

Watch the trailer for Living here:

Mary & George will premiere towards the end of 2023 on AMC in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India.

In the UK and Ireland, it’ll air on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW.

Julianne Moore’s The Hours is available on DVD on Amazon.