Julianne Moore To Lead Sky & AMC Period Drama ‘Mary & George’ About Mary Villiers, Son George & Royal Court Intrigue In Jacobean England — Mipcom Cannes
EXCLUSIVE: Oscar winner Julianne Moore is set to lead Sky and AMC period drama series Mary & George, about powerful royal family favorites Mary Villiers and her son George.
Based on a true story, the eight-part limited series is created by DC Moore, whose credits include Killing Eve, Temple and Not Safe for Work.
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Julianne Moore will play Mary Villiers, Countess of Buckingham, who in 17th century England molded her beautiful son, George, to seduce King James I and become his all-powerful lover. Through outrageous scheming, the pair rose from humble beginnings to become one of the richest, most titled and influential mother and sons England had ever seen. The series is due to begin filming in early 2023.
The series will mark only the second time Moore has led a TV drama after 2021 Apple miniseries Lisey’s Story.
Mary & George is produced by Liza Marshall’s Hera Pictures in association with Sky Studios and is written by playwright DC Moore, inspired by Benjamin Woolley’s nonfiction book The King’s Assassin. Lead director is Oliver Hermanus, director of Moffie and Living, which recently screened at Sundance, Venice, Telluride, Toronto and London.
The show is expected to air in 2023 on Sky in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Italy. AMC Networks will release the series in U.S, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India. NBCUniversal Global Distribution is handling international sales on behalf of Sky Studios. Sky Studios CEO Cécile Frot-Coutaz, will tease the show Monday during NBCUniversal’s MIP cocktail party in Cannes.
Mary & George was commissioned by Gabriel Silver, Director of Commissioning, Drama, and Sam Hoyle, Commissioning Editor at Sky Studios, for Zai Bennett, MD of Content at Sky UK. Hoyle will serve as executive producer for Sky Studios. Liza Marshall is the executive producer for Hera Pictures alongside DC Moore and Oliver Hermanus.
Still Alice Oscar winner and The Kids Are Alright star Julianne Moore has won it all: Alongside her Oscar, BAFTA and Emmy, she is the first American actress to be awarded the top acting prizes at the Cannes, Berlin and Venice film festivals.
“Mary Villiers was a woman who through her own actions rose to become a powerful and influential figure in Jacobean London,” she said. “It’s a daunting but exhilarating challenge to bring her to life on screen.”
Marshall, executive producer for Hera Pictures, commented: “The incredible Julianne Moore is our dream casting for Mary – a woman who was damned by her contemporaries but was always the smartest person in the room. Indomitable women like Mary have too often been written out of history, but with DC Moore’s brilliant scripts and Oliver Hermanus at the helm, we will reclaim her story to make a truly unique, unmissable show.”
DC Moore added: “Since I first read about Mary Villiers’ life – and all she achieved with her son, George – I’ve been obsessed with bringing this story to the screen. Between King James’ often-overlooked love and lust for men, Mary’s extraordinary rise as a woman in a man’s world, and George’s (many, many) sexual and political conquests, this is a profoundly rich, and, as yet entirely untold on screen, story, about a pair of ‘commoners’ who conquered all before them.”
Meghan Lyvers, Director of Original Drama, UK at Sky Studios, noted: “Mary Villiers is one of the most fascinating, complex, and extraordinary figures in British history and we cannot wait to see Julianne Moore take on this role, bringing Mary’s story to new audiences around the world. We are thrilled to partner with Oliver Hermanus, DC Moore, Liza Marshall and the team at Hera Pictures as we embark on this series which signifies a renewed ambition for Sky Original drama.”
Dan McDermott, President of Original Programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios, said: “An intriguing, cunning, mastermind of a character such as Mary Villers fits right in with AMC Networks’ most iconic characters. We’re elated to welcome the unmatched Julianne Moore to AMC as she expertly leads us through Mary & George’s captivating journey, and to partner with DC and the teams at Hera Pictures and Sky Studios.”