A revisionist take on Russian history that meets somewhere at the intersection of comedy, drama and romance is The Great, an expertly scripted and cleverly cast TV show from Hulu – which airs on Stan in Australia. The series follows Catherine the Great and her immature and power-crazy husband, Peter, during a turbulent time in Russia’s history. After the 10-episode series wrapped to critical acclaim, and the fate of a failed coup d’etat hanging in the balance (spoilers, sorry), it begs the question – will we ever get The Great season 2?
Is The Great season 2 confirmed?
In short, yes, The Great will be returning for a second season.
As well as being confirmed by cast and crew, given the disarray Peter’s Russia was left in after the attempted assumption to power by his own wife, it seemed obvious in the final episodes that The Great was gearing up for round two.
What will the second season of The Great be about?
If you need a short and sharp recap, the first season essentially ended with Peter III (Nicholas Hoult) discovering Catherine’s (Elle Fanning) plot to overthrow him. Rather than have her executed, Peter spared the pregnant Empress for the sake of their unborn child.
Executive producer Marian Macgowan spoke with Decider about the rough roadmap for the coming seasons and the story-arcs attached to them.
“We initially pitched six seasons. So we believe there’s sufficient material to take us through until she is an old woman.”
Macgowan also expressed that she would like to explore the evolution of the social classes in Russia more in new episodes.
“I think if season two, if we were to be so lucky, we would certainly explore that more. Because she would become more active, and therefore, it would be more relevant,” she said.
It’s likely Catherine’s affairs will also take centre stage after the birth of her child, heightening the tension between her and her husband, Peter.
Showrunner Tony McNamara, who was Emmy nominated for an Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, told Collider;
“I mean we could tell it in four [seasons], we could probably tell it in three. I don’t really know. I think it’s also now I realise the characters are so great across the board – we have 12 great actors playing really great characters and that’s just good TV, so it does seem like there’s a lot to get out of them. I’m not sure [how many seasons it will run] at the moment, I’m just telling the story and we’ll see where we get to.”
Has the cast been confirmed for The Great season 2?
Elle Fanning will return as Catherine the Great, Nicholas Hoult as Peter, Phoebe Fox as Catherine’s maid Merial, Sacha Dhawan as Orlov and Gwilym Lee as the Emperor’s right-hand man, Grigor Dymov.
Whether Sebastian De Souza returns as Catherine’s lover Leo, is yet to be seen, given his presumed fate at the end of the first season. Douglas Hodge will also reappear as General Velementov and Adam Godley as religious adviser Archie.
Interestingly, The Great was initially pitched by showrunner Tony McNamara in the same style as The Crown – which swaps out actors as the story progresses through generations – but McNamara said in his discussion with Collider that he wasn’t ready to let go of the two main characters initially.
What has been confirmed is the addition of popular British actress Gillian Anderson (The Crown, Sex Education). The Great season 2 will introduce her as Joanna, Catherine’s mother according to Deadline.
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When can we expect The Great season 2?
The second season began filming at the start of 2021, so assuming production can continue uninterrupted in the current climate, we should be on track to seeing The Great season 2 sooner rather than later.
Re-watch the first season on Stan now, or alternatively catch the latest season of The Crown over on Netflix.