Amazon Getting Ready to Launch “The Romanoffs”
The series breaks usual practices, formats, and genres
HOLLYWOOD—Amazon Studios’ much-anticipated original anthology series “The Romanoffs” will hit the world stage on Oct. 12, initially available in 200 countries simultaneously.
Departing from the traditional television format, “The Romanoffs” will be presented in the Amazon Prime platform both in English and foreign languages, announced Matthew Weiner, its creator, writer, director and producer to a group of entertainment journalists here. The initial launch will be the English-language original, with dubbed versions set to be released in early 2019.
“The Romanoffs” has been the season’s most talked about production since it went before the cameras almost a year ago — and one of the most secretive. Virtually nothing is known about the story lines.
What is known: The anthology series is set around the globe, featuring eight separate stories about people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family. History buffs might be disappointed since the episodes take place in the present.
“The Romanoffs” was shot on location on three continents and seven countries in collaboration with local productions and creative talent across Europe , the Americas and the Far East.
Showrunner Weiner, the creator of the immensely successful “Mad Men” television series and winner of nine Emmy awards, still refuses to divulge the plot lines other than revealing that “each story takes place in a new location with a new cast.” From the day the project was announced almost two years ago Weiner has been playing his cards close to his chest, although at one point during pre-production he had hinted that the series might feature Grand Duchess Anastasia since her “whereabouts had long been thought a mystery.”
The cast members include actors with prestigous television credits and co-starring roles in major movies. They include Noah Wyle (“Falling Skies”); Jay Ferguson (“Mad Men”); Griffin Dunn (“Imposters”); Annet Mahendru (“The Americans”); Aaron Eckhart (“Sully”); and John Slatery (a “Mad Men” veteran), just to name a few of the scores of players.
Amazon’s Prime Video is a premium subscription streaming service that offers customers a collection of digital videos, including movies and old television programs. “The Romanoffs” project originally included The Weinstein Co. as a partner until its co-founder Harvey Weinstein was charged with sex crimes and arrested. Subsequently the company was auctioned in bankruptcy proceedings, resulting in Amazon’s taking over the whole ownership of the series. The Weinstein company’s participation was considered to be quite important because of its significant foreign distribution reach.
The project reportedly costs in excess of $50 million dollars.