Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner is talking about his upcoming Amazon TV show, The Romanoffs. Each of the eight hourlong episodes will be a standalone story, with different plots and actors. He partnering with Mad Men producer Blake McCormick, and they’ve brought on Mad Men EPs Semi Chellas, André Jacquemetton, and Maria Jacquemetton.
Variety reports, “The only common thread is that each episode will tell the stories of people in contemporary times who believe they are descendants of the imperial family that ruled Russia from 1613 until the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917.” The Romanoffs is expected to premiere on Amazon Prime, in 2018.
As the article recounts, Tsar Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra, and their five children were executed by the Bolsheviks in July of 1918. The legend of the House of Romanov remains in the collective consciousness, in part, because of the theory that daughter Anastasia escaped and assumed a new identity.
Heres more from Variety:
For Weiner, creator and exec producer of AMC’s hallowed period drama “Mad Men,” the attraction of “Romanoffs” is not to revisit Russian history but to explore how people feel the connections to their ancestors.
“We’re at a place in our history where people are looking for a close connection to their roots, and for some kind of revelation about who they are,” Weiner told Variety. “There’s great debate about who is a Romanoff and what happened to the Romanoffs. The story for me is that we’re all questioning who we are and who we say we are.”
Weiner expects to direct four of the eight episodes, some of which will film in overseas locations. He hopes to interest some members of the “Mad Men” troupe in starring in the show, as well as other notable actors given the limited commitment of only doing one episode.
Weiner and his team are energized by the opportunity to work on a production that essentially amounts to making eight hourlong movies. Each story will rise, or fall, on its own merits.
“I liked the idea of telling a story in a format where you don’t have the serial element – you have to commit to a resolution,” he said. “The escalation has to happen within the story — nothing is carried over from one episode to another. As a writer, that’s an exciting idea.”
Weiner came up with the notion for “Romanoffs” about a year ago, after a long break following the end of his work on “Mad Men” in late 2014. He had the chance to watch other TV shows “in a non-competitive atmosphere,” and he realized that there was room for a show of this nature. “The rise of (Netflix’s) ‘Black Mirror’ made it easier for me to explain it, even though this show is not in that genre,” he said.
Weiner hopes “Romanoffs” will be ready to roll on Amazon next spring. Before the series bows, the nine-time Emmy winner will publish his first novel, “Heather, the Totality,” this fall.
What do you think? Are you a fan of Matthew Weiner’s work? Will you check out The Romanoffs TV show when it premieres on Amazon?