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Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner finally spills details about his next series

03.02.2017

I still haven't finished watching Mad Men. I've had the final seven episodes sitting on my Blu-ray shelf for over a year, but for whatever reason, I just can't bring myself to complete the series and move on. One person who has moved on from Mad Men is its creator, Matthew Weiner. Following its conclusion, many were wondering what sort of project he would tackle next, after all, following up a show like Mad Men would be no easy task.

Several months ago it was revealed that his new show had landed at Amazon and that it would be an anthology series, but beyond that, little was known about the project, until now. While speaking with THR, Matthew Weiner spilled a few details about his new show which will be titled The Romanoffs.

We’re doing an actual anthology — and I say it that way because the word is used for different purposes now than it was when I was growing up. They’re contemporary, but every single episode — and there will be eight — has a different cast, a different story and a different location. The thing that holds them together is that all of the stories involve people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Romanov [family, the last imperial dynasty to rule Russia. The mystery surrounding the family dates back to 1918, when revolutionaries brutally murdered Tsar Nicholas II and much of his family. But the remains of one of his daughters, Anastasia, long served as a mystery, with lore suggesting she'd survived the tragedy and taken on a new identity. In the years since, many have claimed to be Romanov survivors.] And that’s the title of the show, The Romanoffs. [Weiner's spelling choice reflects the pronunciation as well as the way the family name was commonly spelled until recently.]

The choice to make each episode a standalone stemmed from wanting to be able to tell a story "that really commits." Not that Weiner wasn't able to do that on Mad Men, but he explains that "when the characters are not coming back the next week you have a chance to tell it in a different way — to resolve it. Black Mirror is a different genre, but if you enjoy the idea of seeing a new story every week, that will be part of it." He also wanted to be able to tackle some very modern issues, saying that "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." The series won't just be set in the U.S. as Weiner says that he plans on shooting at least half of the episodes abroad.

It’s interesting because without a standing cast or standing set, it can be financially freeing in a way. So, of the eight, we’re planning to do as many as four in the U.S. — I don’t know how many of those will be in Los Angeles — and four abroad. And then shooting them abroad, too. They’ll most likely be shot all in English but with the ability either to tell stories about Americans abroad and, of course, actors from those countries here, too.

A writers' room has been set up, which includes several Mad Men alumni, but they don't have any scripts yet and haven't begun casting, but Weiner isn't ruling out the possibility of appearances from his Mad Men cast. As for future seasons, Weiner already seems keen to do more, assuming people enjoy the first. "There's no reason that you can't do hundreds of these," said Weiner, "because the stories are very different and there's no formula to them."

Sound off, folks. What are you impressions of Matthew Weiner's new series so far?

Source: THR

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