Entertainment Weekly has revealed the first images from The Serpent Queen, an upcoming historical series that stars Samantha Morton (Minority Report) as legendary monarch Catherine de Medici, a ruthless ruler who led France with intelligence and determination for five decades. The series is yet to receive a premiere date.
The title character earned her nickname due to her peculiar predilection for poison, but she also became famous due to the fact that, even though she was unable to conceive a child (an unthinkable “flaw” at the time), she managed to master the monarchy with an unpaid dowry and sustain her marriage with a man that was famously in love with someone else.
The first-look images reveal Morton in character as Catherine, as well as the stunning production value of the series, which translates into jaw-dropping costume designs and majestic locations. The premise alone is intriguing: a female monarch having to outsmart everyone around her in order to earn her respect and make it into history books, but the images suggest that there are many other aspects of the series that will make it a must-watch.
The Serpent Queen is created and developed by BAFTA nominee Justin Haythe, who previously penned Revolutionary Road and A Cure For Wellness. Stacie Passion (Dickinson) sets the tone by directing the first episode of the series, and is also attached to direct several other episodes across the first season run.
The series is based on the best-selling book Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by author Leonie Frieda. The cast also stars Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) as Pope Clement, Liv Hill (Jellyfish) as the younger version of Catherine, Antonia Clarke (I May Destroy You) as Mary Queen of Scots, and Ludivine Sagnier (Lupin) as Diane de Poitiers.
Starz is yet to reveal further details from The Serpent Queen, including trailer and release date. You can check out the official synopsis here, and more photos below:
In ‘The Serpent Queen’, Catherine tells her story through flashbacks, defending her actions and imparting lessons she’s learned to her new servant, Rahima (Sennia Nanua). When her uncle Pope Clement (Charles Dance) brokers her marriage and a geopolitical alliance with France, but she learns on her wedding night that her husband is in love with Diane de Poitiers (Ludivine Sagnier), a stunningly beautiful lady-in-waiting who is twice the king-to-be’s age. Catherine is thrust into a world where she must learn quickly who she can trust and seek to outmaneuver anyone who underestimates her.