Helen Mirren Will Star in ‘Catherine the Great’ Adaptation

History fans, get ready to take a deep dive into Catherine the Great’s later years. Helen Mirren will star in the adaptation for HBO and Sky in the four-part miniseries. The drama details her long and glorious reign in the 18th century.

What will ‘Catherine the Great’ be about?

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren | Samir Hussein/WireImage

The new series is just what fans have been looking for. Not only is it a historical drama, but it also encompasses Catherine’s affair with Grigory Potemkin, a military leader of the time.

“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.” Mirren said about the upcoming series.

When does it premiere?

The new trailer for Catherine the Great is finally here, and it’s everything fans were hoping it would be. The series premieres on HBO on October 21. It premieres in the UK on Sky on October 3.

What will this new story of Catherine’s life be about? According to Sky: “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. 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 program will show Catherine in her later years amid an affair with Grigory Potemkin, who is played by Jason Clarke. Sky says it’s “a story of obsessive love.” The pair are unable to fully commit to each other or marry, and they must find a way to stay together through a unique time in Russia’s history.

Who has been cast in the new series?

Along with Mirren and Clarke are other notable names. Gina McKee, known for her roles in Notting Hill, The Lost Prince, and The Borgias, is Catherine’s friend Praskovya Bruce. Rory Kinnear will play Catherine’s mentor in the ways of politics, Nikita Ivanovich Panin. Richard Roxburgh of Moulin Rouge is set to play Grigory Orlov, who is the father of Catherine’s son.

Helen Mirren’s thoughts on ‘Catherine the Great’

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren | George Pimentel/WireImage

Mirren spoke with The Mirror about her upcoming role and the latest royal she will play. “She knew how to charm people, but also manipulate and blackmail them. What she did to survive was extraordinary,” Mirren says.

Potemkin was one of the great loves of Catherine’s life. “But they were very much oil and water. They could never settle down comfortably together. He went off to conquer Turkey and the Crimea, so was always off on military ­expeditions in the name of the empire and expansion,” Mirren explains.

Who was Catherine the Great?

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren | Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

Catherine II was the Empress of Russia for more than a total of three decades. She forever changed the landscape of Russian culture. She married into the Russian family as she was originally from Prussia. After Peter III, her husband took command of the country, Catherine decided to take over and seemingly organized a coup to outwit him and become the empress in 1762. She was a formidable woman who took what she wanted.

Catherine is known for many things, including her love affairs with multiple men. Sources say she had around 12 of them. Potemkin is a notable one, and even after their love fizzled, they were still close friends.

Fans of history can’t wait to see Helen Mirren as Catherine the Great in this historical adaptation of one of the most famous women in the world.