The first trailer for HBO’s limited series Catherine the Great, shows Helen Mirren once again ready to play royalty. The Academy Award winner is no stranger to royal roles; she won acclaim for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frears’ The Queen. While Mirren is perhaps best associated with that role, her career has spanned decades and seen her perform in a wide variety of genres. Some of them, like Red or The Fate of the Furious have taken the actor into unexpected action-adventure territory, while her role as herself on IFC’s Documentary Now! demonstrates Mirren’s willingness to have fun with her own regal persona.
For HBO’s part, nabbing Mirren to take the role of Catherine the Great seems like a no-brainer. The limited series is another joint HBO/Sky production, similar to that of the recently Emmy-nominated Chernobyl, and another indication of the premium cabler’s interest in delivering high-quality miniseries to its subscribers. The move has worked out well in 2019 so far, with HBO moving new series to Monday nights and enjoying success with the likes of Chernobyl and the Russell T. Davies dystopian future miniseries Years and Years. Though HBO has yet to officially announce a premiere date for Catherine the Great, it wouldn’t be too surprising if it, too, were a Monday night offering.
The first trailer offers the best look yet at what’s in store for viewers. The series certainly looks like it has some absurdly high production values, which will likely come as no surprise as Catherine the Great comes from director Philip Martin, who has directed several episodes of Netflix’s equally gorgeous Royal Family drama The Crown. Check out the first trailer for Catherine the Great to see if it really is a match made in premium cable heaven.
“Set against the politically tumultuous and sexually charged court of Russian empress Catherine the Great, who wielded supreme power throughout Russia for nearly half of the 18th century, the limited series follows Catherine towards the end of her reign during her passionate affair with Grigory Potemkin. Amid scandal, intrigue and immense conflict, they develop a unique and devoted relationship, overcoming their adversaries and together serving as the architects of modern-day Russia.”
The series also stars Jason Clarke (Pet Sematary, Chappaquiddick) as Grigory Potemkin. From the look of the trailer it would seem Clarke enjoys a significant role next to Mirren in the series, as it tracks Catherine’s life for what seems to be many years — if the aging makeup is any indication. If nothing else, Catherine the Great looks to be the sort of high-profile limited series that will be a welcome addition to HBO’s other fall 2019 offerings, like Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen and His Dark Materials.
Catherine the Great will premiere in the fall of 2019 on HBO.