Starz announced that it is developing a slate of series inspired by “extraordinary women of history” from Lionsgate TV and Colin Callender’s Golden Globe-winning Playground. The network also acquired the rights to best-selling author and historian Alison Weir’s acclaimed biography Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life and its companion novel Captive Queen, which will be part of the slate.

The network added, “The story of Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the great heroines of the Middle Ages, will be the focus of the first series with additional properties to be added to the slate.” Susie Conklin will pen the adaptation and serve as executive producer. Scott Huff and David Stern will oversee development for Playground and serve as executive producers on the series.

If you prefer to read the original work before seeing the adaptation, you can find Alison Weir’s work right here on Amazon.

“This slate of series will focus on lesser known but undeniably exceptional female historical figures while continuing the exploration of fierce characters in history,” said Christina Davis, President of Programming for Starz. “Alison Weir’s novels are the perfect jumping off point for this collection of series from Playground, who are known for their sophisticated storytelling.”

“We’re excited to partner with Starz and Lionsgate to bring Alison Weir’s acclaimed biography and novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine to television,” said Huff and Stern. “Eleanor presided over a magnificent, progressive court filled with scandal and intrigue, and we’re thrilled with Susie’s bold and provocative take on this fascinating story.”

Added Conklin, “I’m thrilled at the opportunity to bring Eleanor’s story to life – the drama and adventures she experienced are truly epic. I’m also captivated at how a woman who lived over 800 years ago can be so strikingly modern. She’s determined to live her life on her own terms, and the way she goes about that are extraordinary.”

“Eleanor of Aquitaine defied the conventions of her time as a Queen of both England and France who wielded immense political influence over the kingdoms of men. She was a wife, mother and a fierce leader in an era when women were regarded as little more than chattels,” Starz added. “Eleanor’s unwavering spirit saw her through many years of victories and defeats – a marriage bound by duty, a passionate love affair, family alliances and betrayals, the grandeur of power and the desolation of imprisonment.”

Senior Vice President of Original Programming Karen Bailey is the Starz executive overseeing “Eleanor of Aquitaine.” Senior Vice President of Lionsgate Television Jocelyn Sabo is overseeing the series on behalf of Lionsgate.

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