Written by Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I, Wodehouse in Exile) and directed by BAFTA and Emmy winner Philip Martin (The Crown, Mo, Prime Suspect), the four-episode series is set against the politically tumultuous and sexually charged court of Russian empress Catherine the Great (Mirren). 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.
Produced by Origin Pictures and New Pictures, the limited series will follow Catherine toward the end of her reign and her passionate affair with Grigory Potemkin (Clarke), a Russian military commander who became Catherine’s lover, favored statesman and life-long friend. 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.
Mirren also executive produces the HBO/Sky co-production. David M. Thompson (Woman in Gold, Death Comes to Pemberley) executive produces for Origin Pictures with New Pictures’ Charlie Pattinson (Elizabeth I, The Missing, Skins), Mirren and Philip Martin.
Clarke is coming off a starring role as Ted Kennedy in Chappaquiddick and he also appeared in the critically acclaimed film Mudbound. His upcoming films include Damien Chazelle’s First Man, which will open the 75th Venice Film Festival, and Aftermath opposite Keira Knightley. Clarke is repped by WME, Robert Stein Management and attorney Carlos Goodman.