Helen Mirren to Play Catherine the Great on HBO, Sky Miniseries

Third project from networks’ $250 million partnership is set to start filming later this year

Helen Mirren is set to play the eponymous lead role on HBO and Sky miniseries “Catherine the Great.”

“Catherine the Great” is a four-part drama that delves into the politically tumultuous and sexually-charged court of the most powerful female monarch in history, per the two networks’ shared description. Catherine wielded supreme power throughout Russia for nearly half of the 18th century — strong-minded, independent, brilliantly intelligent and sexually liberated, she was the definition of the modern woman.

The miniseries, set to start filming later this year, will follow Catherine towards the end of her reign and her passionate affair with Grigory Potemkin, Sky and HBO continued. Amid scandal, intrigue and immense conflict, this is a story of obsessive love. Unable to publicly marry and famously promiscuous, they develop a unique and devoted relationship, overcoming their adversaries and together shaping Russia as we know it today.

“I am very excited by the possibility of embodying a woman from history who grabbed and then wielded great power,” Mirren said. “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. I am very grateful to have HBO and Sky as partners in this endeavour. There are no other homes on television that bring the support and understanding needed for this kind of project.”

“Catherine the Great,” produced by Origin Pictures and New Pictures, will air on Sky Atlantic and streamer NOW TV in the UK and Ireland next year. It will exist on Sky Atlantic in Italy, Germany, Austria and on Sky’s recently launched service in Spain. The miniseries will air on HBO in the U.S. and HBO Canada in Canada, through HBO’s output deal with Bell Media.

The miniseries is the third project from HBO and Sky’s $250 million co-production deal, which was announced last April.