HBO Miniseries Catherine The Great Taps Helen Mirren For Titular Role

She’s already played Queen Elizabeth II and cemented her place among Hollywood royalty, but now, the Oscar-winning Helen Mirren is headed to Russia for Catherine the Great, a four-part miniseries from HBO and Sky.

Primed to begin filming later this year, Mirren will play the part of Catherine II, a “strong-minded, independent, and brilliantly intelligent” monarch who become Russia’s longest-serving female leader. She’ll executive produce the project, too, working in tandem with Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I) and Emmy-winning director Philip Martin, whose credits include Prime Suspect and Netflix favorite The Crown.

No other casting details were disclosed at the time of writing, but we do know that Catherine the Great 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.”

It’s a role that Helen Mirren has flirted with for years, and we simply can’t wait to see the venerable actress sink her teeth into a real-life figure who has since been described as the “definition of the modern woman.”

Here’s a quote from the actress herself, who clearly holds Catherine II in high regard:

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.

Due to enter production later this year, Catherine the Great will air via HBO in the States, while those across the pond can expect the four-part drama to premiere on Sky Atlantic.