“The Serpent Queen” is not slithering away from our screens anytime soon: The Starz period drama about the ruthless Catherine de Medici (Samantha Morton) has nabbed an early Season 2 renewal for eight episodes ahead of its Season 1 finale, which will air Oct. 30.
The critically acclaimed series currently holds a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, in addition to an 87% audience score. Starring two-time Oscar nominee Morton, “The Serpent Queen” is billed as a historical drama with edge, presenting a modernized tale of de Medici who against all odds, became one of the most powerful and longest-serving rulers in French history. The story begins with a 14-year-old, orphaned Catherine who marries into the 16th-century French court and must quickly learn the ropes of loyalty and trust, all while outmaneuvering anyone who underestimates her determination to survive at any cost.
“’The Serpent Queen’” is distinctly modern, darkly comedic and completely unexpected,” Kathryn Busby, president of original programming at Starz, said in a statement. “Catherine De Medici’s story is the perfect complement to our female-forward slate, and Samantha Morton’s brilliant portrayal of this ruthless, charming and savvy queen anchors the whole production. We’re thrilled to unveil more of her incredible life and reign in season two, which promises to be even more provocative and sublime.”
Based on the book “Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France” by Leonie Frieda, the drama hails from writer and executive producer Justin Haythe (“Red Sparrow”). Executive producers are Francis Lawrence (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”) and Erwin Stoff (“The Matrix”). Kathryn Tyus-Adair, original programming SVP, is the executive overseeing “The Serpent Queen” for Starz, with Lionsgate Television’s Courtney Mock. The series is produced for Starz by Lionsgate Television and 3 Arts Entertainment.
Amrita Acharia, Enzo Cilenti, Barry Atsma, Nicholas Burns and Danny Kirrane are series regulars, while Charles Dance, Ludivine Sagnier, Liv Hill, Kiruna Stamell and Colm Meaney recur.
In a previous interview with TheWrap, Haythe outlined de Medici’s compelling and inherently progressive nature: “Catherine was a unique character because she wasn’t born royal, she wasn’t considered attractive, she wasn’t considered rich. And she got dumped into this royal court, and against all odds played the game better than anybody else. And the word is ‘game.’ And I think that that just made it contemporary, it made it modern, while at the same time trying to respect what really mattered to the people of the day because otherwise, it’s hard to understand that.”
The last episode of “The Serpent Queen” Season 1 drops at midnight on the Starz app, all Starz streaming and on-demand platforms and internationally on the premium streaming platform Lionsgate+ across all territories. It will debut on liner at 8 p.m. ET/PT in the U.S. and Canada.