The life of Catherine de Medici is coming to the small screen. Starz has ordered The Serpent Queen to series. The period drama is based on the bestselling book Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Frieda which features thousands of letters written by the French monarch during her 50-year reign.
A cast for the drama was not revealed, but Justin Haythe will serve as a writer and Stacie Passon will direct several episodes.
Starz revealed more about the upcoming series in a press release.
“Starz today announced it has greenlit The Serpent Queen, the dark legend of Catherine de Medici from writer and executive producer Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road, Red Sparrow, The Lone Ranger). Based on the book CATHERINE de MEDICI: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Frieda, the series will be executive produced by Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2) and Erwin Stoff (The Matrix,13 Hours, Edge of Tomorrow). Stacie Passon (Transparent, Dickinson, Billions) directs multiple episodes including the premiere episode. The eight-episode series is produced for Starz by Lionsgate Television and 3 Arts Entertainment.
“The Serpent Queen may be the most cunning account of one of the most influential women ever to wear a crown that Starz has told,” said Christina Davis, President of Original Programming for Starz. “We are thrilled to be working with such an incredibly talented team who will give this series a modern voice among a sensational historical backdrop.”
Considered an immigrant, common and plain, Catherine de Medici is married into the 16th century French court as an orphaned teenager expected to bring a fortune in dowry and produce many heirs, only to discover that her husband is in love with an older woman, her dowry is unpaid and she’s unable to concieve. Yet, only with her intelligence and determination, she manages to keep her marriage alive and masters the bloodsport that is the monarchy better than anyone else, ruling France for 50 years.
Based on thousands of private letters, CATHERINE DE MEDICI: Renaissance Queen of France from author Leonie Frieda was a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic and was translated into eight languages.
“Writing Catherine and her story has been truly exciting as she is a very complex leading character who becomes a skilled ruler, battling extraordinary political and personal odds throughout her reign,” said Haythe. “She is a Queen who defies convention, as she relies upon her intellect, her unusual entourage and a ready supply of black magic inspiring, centuries later, the Evil Queen of fairy tales.”
What do you think? Will you watch The Serpent Queen when it arrives on Starz?