Academy Award and BAFTA-winning actor Julianne Moore (Still Alice, Far From Heaven) is to star in the new Sky Original and AMC Networks drama Mary & George – an eight-part limited series based on the true story of Mary Villiers (Moore), who moulded her beautiful son, George, to seduce King James I and become his all-powerful lover. Through outrageous scheming, the pair rose from humble beginnings to become the richest, most titled, and influential mother and son England had ever seen. The series is due to begin filming in early 2023 and debut later next year.
Mary & George is produced by Hera Pictures in association with Sky Studios and is written by acclaimed playwright DC Moore (Killing Eve, Temple), inspired by the non-fiction book “The King’s Assassin” by Benjamin Woolley. The lead director is Oliver Hermanus, award winning director of Moffie and Living, currently screening to critical acclaim at Sundance, Venice, Telluride, Toronto and London.
Moore is an Academy Award, BAFTA and Emmy winning actor, and the first American woman to be awarded top acting prizes at the Cannes, Berlin, and Venice film festivals. This past August she was appointed the President of the Jury for the Venice Film Festival.
Julianne Moore said: “Mary Villiers was a woman who through her own actions rose to become a powerful and influential figure in Jacobean London. It’s a daunting but exhilarating challenge to bring her to life on screen.”
Liza Marshall, Executive Producer for Hera Pictures, commented: “The incredible Julianne Moore is our dream casting for Mary – a woman who was damned by her contemporaries but was always the smartest person in the room. Indomitable women like Mary have too often been written out of history but with DC Moore’s brilliant scripts and Oliver Hermanus at the helm, we will reclaim her story to make a truly unique, unmissable show.”
DC Moore, Writer & Executive Producer, said: “Since I first read about Mary Villiers’ life – and all she achieved with her son, George – I’ve been obsessed with bringing this story to the screen. Between King James’ often-overlooked love and lust for men, Mary’s extraordinary rise as a woman in a man’s world, and George’s (many, many) sexual and political conquests, this is a profoundly rich, and, as yet entirely untold on screen, story, about a pair of ‘commoners’ who conquered all before them.”
Meghan Lyvers, Director of Original Drama, UK at Sky Studios, added: “Mary Villiers is one of the most fascinating, complex, and extraordinary figures in British history and we cannot wait to see Julianne Moore take on this role, bringing Mary’s story to new audiences around the world. We are thrilled to partner with Oliver Hermanus, DC Moore, Liza Marshall and the team at Hera Pictures as we embark on this series which signifies a renewed ambition for Sky Original drama.”
Dan McDermott, President of Original Programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios, said “An intriguing, cunning, mastermind of a character such as Mary Villers fits right in with AMC Networks’ most iconic characters. We’re elated to welcome the unmatched Julianne Moore to AMC as she expertly leads us through Mary & George’s captivating journey, and to partner with DC and the teams at Hera Pictures and Sky Studios.”
Mary & George was commissioned by Gabriel Silver, Director of Commissioning, Drama and Sam Hoyle, Commissioning Editor at Sky Studios, for Zai Bennett, MD of Content, Sky UK. Sam Hoyle will serve as Executive Producer for Sky Studios. Liza Marshall is the executive producer for Hera Pictures alongside DC Moore and Oliver Hermanus. Lead director is Oliver Hermanus.
Mary & George is expected to air in 2023 on Sky in the UK, Ireland, DACH and Italy. AMC Networks holds exclusive distribution in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India. NBCUniversal Global Distribution handles international sales on behalf of Sky Studios.