"Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France"
Starz greenlights “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.
“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.”
Senior Vice President of Original Programming Kathryn Tyus-Adair is the executive overseeing “The Serpent Queen” on behalf of Starz. Courtney Mock is overseeing the series on behalf of Lionsgate.