The drama is set in the politically complicated and sexually charged court of the Russian empress, who ruled for nearly half a century. The story opens near the end of her reign as she begins an affair (one of many) with Grigory Potemkin (Jason Clarke). Although their romance brings about scandal, they ultimately form a partnership that brings Russia a series of liberalizing changes. Sounds juicy, right?
Catherine the Great is directed by Philip Martin (The Crown) and written by Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I), both of whom executive produced the project alongside Mirren, David Thompson (Billy Elliot, Mandela), Charlie Pattinson (Shameless) and Christine Healy (Indian Summers).
Mirren took home an Academy Award for the 2006 movie The Queen, in which she played Queen Elizabeth. She also played Queen Elizabeth I in the 2005 miniseries Elizabeth I. Suffice it to say, she has some practice depicting royalty. We’re betting this is going to be seriously good.
Catherine the Great premieres on HBO on Monday, October 21, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, aka a little late on a Monday night for our taste. Thankfully, there’s HBO Go.