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.
Nicholas Hoult, Glen Powell and Miles Teller are the frontrunners for a key role in Top Gun 2.
The long-awaited sequel to the seminal 1980s movie once again stars Tom Cruise, reprising his role as the hot-shot pilot with the call sign Maverick.
Joseph Kosinski, who directed Cruise in sci-fi thriller Oblivion, is directing the movie, which is also bringing back Val Kilmer’s rival pilot code-named Iceman.
But the highly coveted role for the young men of Hollywood this time around is the son of Maverick’s wingman and best pal, Goose. Played by Anthony Edwards in the Tony Scott-directed original, the character provided an emotional spine to the movie when he is killed by accident and Maverick blames himself.
The original featured Goose’s son as a young boy, with Meg Ryan playing his mother.
Producers — who include Cruise, Jerry Bruckheimer and Skydance’s David Ellison — have been testing actors for several weeks, winnowing the list down to Hoult, Powell and Teller. Dylan O’Brien and Austin Butler were among those in the mix in a previous stage.
Insiders say some of the final round of testing took place earlier this week in Clearwater, Fla., where Cruise lives and is prepping to launch his press tour for Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Clearwater is also a Scientology headquarters.
Hoult plays the blue-furred Beast in the X-Men movies and counts Mad Max: Fury Road and Rebel in the Rye amongst his credits.
Powell currently stars in Set It Up, Netflix’s surprise hit romantic comedy that also stars Zoey Deutch. He played astronaut John Glenn in Hidden Figures and appeared in Fox’s Scream Queens.
Teller starred in the big-screen dramas Thank You for Your Service and Only the Brave. His big breakout film was 2014’s Whiplash.
Nicholas Hoult has been cast in The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos’ next film — a period drama The Favourite that stars the already reported Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. Hoult recently wrapped production on The Current War playing Nikola Tesla opposite Benedict Cumberbatch. He also plays J.D. Salinger in Rebel in the Rye which will be distributed through IFC this fall.
In The Favourite, Hoult will play “Harley,” the Tory party leader during the reign of Queen Anne at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century. The story was written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. Scarlet Films’ Ceci Dempsey and Element Pictures’ Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday — who produced The Lobster — will produce The Favourite. Element’s Andrew Lowe is exec producing.
Hoult, who audiences can see currently in Collide (bowed this past weekend), is repped by UTA, management company 42 and law firm Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson.