Until now, all that was known about Matthew Weiner’s upcoming Amazon series was that it would be an anthology. But with the writers’ room now open for business, Weiner is finally willing to spill the beans and gave the Hollywood Reporter a sense of what the Mad Men creator’s next act will look like.
The series, he told the Reporter, is called The Romanoffs, and its eight episodes will focus on people who believe themselves to be the descendants of the last Russian czar. He clarified that the show will be a genuine anthology, with each episode standing on its own: “Black Mirror is a different genre,” Weiner said, “but if you enjoy the idea of seeing a new story every week, that will be part of it.” The Romanoffs’ staff includes Mad Men alumni Semi Chellas, Andre and Maria Jacquemetton, and Blake McCormick, and although Weiner has not yet begun the casting process, Weiner says when asked if any of that show’s actors might make an appearance, “I definitely would not rule that out.”*
Weiner also explains the reason for his choice of subject:
The reason that I picked the Romanovs is that in an era where we have social media and so much theoretical connection to each other it really seems like we’re further apart than ever. And I love this idea that these characters believe themselves to be, whether they are or not, descendants of this last autocratic family who are part of one of the great true crime stories of all time. I also love that it’s the chance to talk about nature v. nurture, what they have in common and what is left of a grand heritage.
Weiner also said that he planned to direct four of the eight episodes himself and that half would be shot in the U.S. and half abroad. While The Romanoffs has no set air date, he said it “should be available for streaming this time next year, maybe a little earlier.”
*Correction, March 2: This post originally misstated Maria Jacquemetton’s first name.