HBO/Sky have released a first-look photo of Helen Mirren as the titular character in four-part HBO/Sky miniseries Catherine the Great (see below). The image shows Mirren as Empress Catherine in her private quarters.

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Gina McKee (Notting Hill), Rory Kinnear (Penny Dreadful), Richard Roxburgh (Rake), Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) and Sam Palladio (Nashville) also have joined previously announced stars Mirren, Jason Clarke and Joseph Quinn in the miniseries produced by Origin Pictures and New Pictures.

Currently shooting in palaces and sets across Russia, Latvia and Lithuania, the four-part miniseries, written by Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I, Wodehouse in Exile), will chart the latter years of Catherine’s 34-year reign, as she builds Russia’s reputation as one of the great powers of Europe.

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McKee will play Countess Bruce, Catherine’s lifelong friend and confidant. Kinnear is Minister Panin, a skillful politician, advisor and governor to Catherine’s son. Roxburgh will play Grigory Orlov, one of Catherine’s former lovers, who helped orchestrate the coup that brought Catherine to power. McNally portrays Alexei Orlov, who, with his brother Grigory, helped orchestrate the coup that brought Catherine to power. Palladio is Alexander Vasilichikov, Catherine’s young lover.

Additional cast includes Clive Russell as The Fool; Lucas Englander as Lieutenant Mirovich; Antonia Clarke as Princess Sophie; Paul Ritter as General Suvorov; Paul Kaye as Pugachev; Thomas Doherty as Peter Zavadovsky; Raphael Acloque as Platon Zubov; James Northcoate as Alexander Bezborodko and Andrew Rothney as Alexander Dmitriev-Mamonov.

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. Jules Hussey (Hooten and the Lady) is producing.

Catherine The Great is the third production under HBO and Sky’s drama partnership joining previous commissions Chernobyl starring Jared Harris and gangland thriller Gangs of London.