Julianne Moore to Lead AMC Royal Period Drama ‘Mary & George’

Julianne Moore on the Tar red carpet
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

A British 17th century royal scandal centering on scheming mother Mary Villiers will be the focal point of the new AMC period drama, Mary & George, starring Julianne Moore.

According to Deadline, the eight-part Jacobean drama will see the Oscar-winner play Mary Villiers, Countess of Buckingham, who helped mold her son, George, to seduce King James I and become his lover. The pair’s outrageous plotting saw them rise from humble beginnings to becoming one of the wealthiest, most titled, and most influential mother and sons England had ever seen.

AMC Networks has acquired the rights to air the series in the U.S., while the show is expected to launch in 2023 on Sky in the U.K. It was created by playwright DC Moore and inspired by the non-fiction book The King’s Assassin by Benjamin Wooley. Liza Marshall’s Hera Pictures produces the series in association with Sky Studios, while Oliver Hermanus (Living) is on board as lead director.

“Mary Villiers was a woman who through her own actions rose to become a powerful and influential figure in Jacobean London,” said Julianne in a statement (via Deadline). “It’s a daunting but exhilarating challenge to bring her to life on screen.”

Julianne most recently starred in the Apple TV+ miniseries Lisey’s Story, based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Stephen King. She also portrayed politician Sarah Palin in the 2012 political television movie Game Change, for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. Her other television work includes a brief recurring role on the NBC comedy series 30 Rock.

“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,” said Hera Pictures’ Marshall. “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.”

Mary & George, TBA, ABC