Matthew Weiner’s Amazon anthology The Romanoffs has a premise that’s about as cryptic as the old Mad Men episode descriptions – “a contemporary series set around the globe, centering on separate stories about people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family.” Then you take into account the fact that it not only features Mad Men alumni Christina Hendricks and John Slattery, but Isabelle Huppert (!!!), Marthe Keller, Aaron Eckhart, Jack Huston and Amanda Peet, and the possibilities seem endless. I personally don’t even want to know anything about the plot before tuning in. Just let Weiner’s vision wash over me, the same way his previous episodic masterwork did.
Weiner is bringing along THIRTEEN producers, writers, casting directors and costume designers from the acclaimed AMC drama for this new venture. Just some of the names are executive producer/writer Semi Chellas, co-executive producer Blake McCormick, and consulting producers/writers Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton.
Other Mad Men grads hired for The Romanoffs include director of photography Chris Manley, production designers Henry Dunn and Christopher Brown, and hair and makeup heads Theraesa Rivers and Lana Horochowski. So we should expect this endeavor to carry the same lush sense of visual styling we’ve come to know and love from the Mad Men mastermind.
Weiner is also going to be directing all eight episodes of the series, marking this as a truly auteurist endeavor for the streaming service. Amazon has been a wonderful new stomping ground for dreamers such as Spike Lee, Nicolas Winding Refn, Jim Jarmusch, and Kenneth Lonergan. This is really what’s set them apart from Netflix – their commitment to not just buying and distributing pictures, but actually treating their operation like a legitimate studio, where big names can come and develop their audacious visions. To see Weiner added to this lineup is delightful, and we can’t wait to watch whatever The Romanoffs turns out to be.
(Note: Header photo used with permission via Wikimedia Commons)