I’ve learned that Hulu is finalizing deals for a pilot order to The Great, a drama/limited series starring and executive produced by Elle Fanning and also starring Nicholas Hoult. The project hails from MRC (Ozark, House of Cards).
Written/executive produced by Tony McNamara, the series details the rise to power of Catherine the Great (Fanning) and her explosive relationship with husband Peter (Hoult), the emperor of Russia.
I hear Fanning was very involved in getting the project together and pitching it to Hulu. She and McNamara executive produce with Marian Macgowan, Echo Lake and Thruline.
The Great reunites Hoult with McNamara, who co-wrote the upcoming Yorgos Lanthimos feature The Favourite. Hoult stars opposite Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz in the film, which is getting awards season release.
Catherine II, born Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, was the daughter of a Prussian general, who was introduced to the prospective tsar Peter of Holstein-Gottorp when she was only 10 as part of European Royal families’ use of marriages as a tool for strengthening (and weakening) political ties between countries. Though she admitted to finding him detestable at first, the two eventually married after she had turned 16.
Their union was tumultuous, with both rumored to have extramarital affairs, and Peter’s temper becoming unbearable. Only six months into him ascending to the Russian throne, Catherine organized his opponents to overthrow him to start her successful 34-year rule. He was assassinated.
HBO and Sky have a ‘Catherine the Great’ four-part series coming up about the Empress’ later years on the throne with Helen Mirren in the title role.
McNamara is repped by UTA, Thruline Entertainment, HLA Management in Australia and Frankfurt Kurnit. Fanning, who will next be seen in Reed Morano’s I Think We’re Alone Now and in Maleficent 2, is repped by WME and Echo Lake. Hoult also next is starring in X Men: Dark Phoenix and Tolkien. He is repped by 42 Management, UTA, Relevant and Felker Toczek Gelman Suddleson.