New ‘Catherine the Great’ TV drama was star Helen Mirren’s idea

Helen Mirren’s role in HBO’s upcoming Catherine the Great mini-series is “a part she’s always wanted to play.”

The star of The Queen will lead the cast of Sky and HBO’s new TV drama about Catherine the Great.

Written by Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I) and directed by Philip Martin (The Crown), the four-part mini-series will follow Catherine, who wielded supreme power throughout Russia for nearly half of the 18th century, towards the end of her reign and her passionate affair with Grigory Potemkin

Executive producer David M. Thompson revealed: “Helen Mirren came to me with the idea for Catherine the Great when we were working with her on Woman in Gold, saying it’s a part she’s always wanted to play. I’m delighted we’re now making the series and indeed we can’t think of anyone better for the role. We’re thrilled with the scripts from Nigel Williams and the drama couldn’t have found a more perfect home than Sky/HBO.”

Cameron Roach, commissioning editor for Sky drama, commented: “We’re incredibly excited to announce Catherine the Great and our further association with HBO, in what promises to be a definitive landmark drama. The team assembled on the project is truly world class and we look forward to Helen Mirren bringing this remarkable woman to life.”

Kary Antholis, president, HBO miniseries and CINEMAX programming, added: “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 mini-series.”

The Queen is available to buy now on DVD.

Catherine the Great starts filming later this year. It will air on Sky Atlantic in the UK and Ireland in 2019, and on HBO in the US and in Canada.