Samantha Morton to Star in ‘The Serpent Queen’ for STARZ

The STARZ drama “The Serpent Queen” has found its lead. The network announced on Wednesday that Golden Globe winner, two-time Academy Award, and two-time BAFTA Award-nominated actress, Samantha Morton, has been cast to star as Catherine de Medici in the new STARZ Original series.

The upcoming series comes from writer and executive producer Justin Haythe and will also be executive produced by Francis Lawrence and Erwin Stoff. Stacie Passon will direct multiple episodes, including the premiere episode.

Samantha Morton starred in Carine Adler’s “Under the Skin,” earning her the Boston Film Critics Award for Best Actress. Morton has twice been nominated for an Academy Award, twice nominated for a BAFTA award, and in 2007 she received a Best Actress Golden Globe 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.

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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.”

The show’s description reads, “‘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.

photo credit: starz

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