STARZ CONJURES UP "THE SERPENT QUEEN" LEAD WITH MULTI-AWARD WINNING SAMANTHA MORTON SET TO STAR AS CATHERINE DE MEDICI
THE 16TH CENTURY DRAMA "THE SERPENT QUEEN" WILL BE WRITTEN AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY JUSTIN HAYTHE
Santa Monica, Calif. -
STARZ announced today Golden Globe(R) winner, two-time Academy Award(R) and two-time BAFTA Award-nominated actress, Samantha Morton (Minority Report, "Harlots," "The Walking Dead"), has been cast to star as the nefarious Catherine de Medici in the new STARZ Original series "The Serpent Queen" - the dark legend centered on de Medici - from writer and executive producer Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road, Red Sparrow, The Lone Ranger). The series will also 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") will direct multiple episodes, including the premiere episode.
Multi-award-winning British actress Samantha Morton first garnered international attention in Carine Adler's Under the Skin, earning her the Boston Film Critics Award for Best Actress. She has since gone on to work with such acclaimed directors as Woody Allen (Sweet and Lowdown), Lynne Ramsay (Morvern Callar), Stephen Spielberg (Minority Report), Jim Sheridan (In America), Michael Winterbottom (Code 46), Shekhar Kapur (The Golden Age), Harmony Korine (Mister Lonely), Anton Corbijn (Control), Charlie Kaufman (Synecdoche, New York), David Cronenberg (Cosmopolis), Andrew Stanton (John Carter), Spike Jonze (Her), and David Yates (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). In a highly-acclaimed career, Morton has twice been nominated for an Academy Award(R), twice nominated for a BAFTA award, and in 2007 she received a Best Actress Golden Globe(R) for her portrayal of notorious child-murderer Myra Hindley in the NBC/Channel 4 film "Longford." In 2009, Morton made her directorial debut with "The Unloved," a semi-autobiographical film based in the British children's care system, winning the BAFTA Television Award for Best Single Drama. Recently Morton has starred in the hit Hulu/ BBC television show "Harlots" and AMC's award-winning "The Walking Dead," where she played the iconic villain, Alpha. In 2020, Morton was nominated for Best Actress BAFTA for the Dominic Savage drama "I Am Kirsty." Morton recently finished filming the movie Save the Cinema.
Exemplifying the network's #TakeTheLead commitment, "The Serpent Queen" is a cunning account of one of the most influential women ever to wear a crown. 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 conceive. 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 the book Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Frieda, the eight-episode series is produced for STARZ by Lionsgate Television and 3 Arts Entertainment.
"The Serpent Queen" will air on STARZ in the U.S. and Canada and on its international premium streaming platform Starzplay across its complete footprint in Europe, Latin America, and Japan.
STARZ recently launched its #TakeTheLead initiative, the company's comprehensive effort to deepen its existing commitment to narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences.
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Starz (www.starz.com), a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), is the global media company taking the lead in streaming premium content that spotlights a spectrum of women both in front of and behind the camera for audiences worldwide. Starz is home to the flagship domestic STARZ(R) service, including STARZ ENCORE, 17 premium pay TV channels and the associated on-demand and online services, as well as the proprietary and highly-rated STARZ app. In 2018, Starz launched its Starzplay international premium streaming platform and, coupled with its Starz Play Arabia venture, has since expanded its global footprint into 55 territories throughout Europe, Latin America, Canada, Japan and India. The essential complement to any subscription platform, STARZ and Starzplay are available across digital OTT platforms and multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies around the world. Starz offers subscribers thousands of distinct premium television episodes and feature films, including STARZ Original series, first-run movies and other popular programming.
Combining the STARZ premium global subscription platform with world-class motion picture and television studio operations, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) brings a unique and varied portfolio of entertainment to consumers around the world. Its film, television, subscription and location-based entertainment businesses are backed by a 17,000-title library and the largest collection of film and television franchises in the independent media space. A digital age company driven by its entrepreneurial culture and commitment to innovation, the Lionsgate brand is synonymous with bold, original, relatable entertainment for the audiences it serves worldwide.
About 3 Arts Entertainment
3 Arts Entertainment is a talent/literary management and production company, with 26 years of experience. We have offices in Beverly Hills and New York and have clients in the TV and Film Lit world, acting world, hosting world, branded areas, digital media and more. Our clients range from personalities like Jessica Alba and Chrissy Teigen to movie stars like Chris Evans, Rob Pattinson, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kevin Hart and Craig Robinson to TV stars like Mindy Kaling and Debra Messing, among many others. 3 Arts also represents some of the greatest writers and directors in the business, such as Greg Daniels, Mike Judge and Francis Lawrence. We currently executive produce over 30 shows on the air. Some of our shows include: "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "Master of None," "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," "Insecure," and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."