Anna Hardwick (Maddy in “Faes Wide Shut“) is Noreen in Episode 4 of of the nine-episode miniseries MRS. AMERICA, which tells the true story of the efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and the unexpected backlash let by Phyllis Schlafly (Cate Blanchett). The series shows the culture wars of the 70s from the perspectives of Schlafly and feminists Steinem, Friedan, Chisolm, Abzug, and Ruckelshaus. On Instagram, Hardwick said: “I will treasure improvising with my comedy hero, the gracious Tracey Ullman as the terrifying Betty Friedan, for the rest of my days.” That makes it at least possible that Hardwick’s character is Noreen Connell, who worked with Friedan on the White House Conference on Families in 1980. Samantha Espie (Pietra in “Let the Dark Times Roll“) appears in the series as Jacqui Davidson (although the last name is spelled without a ‘d’ on the show’s IMDB page), the president and founder of the anti-ERA organization HOW (Happiness of Womanhood). Angela Besharah (Jobina in “Caged Fae“) is also in the cast. Created by Dahvi Waller, MRS AMERICA’s first three episodes will be on HULU on 15 April, with a new episode released each subsequent Wednesday. YouTube has a trailer.
Daniel Kash (Seebeck in “Faetal Justice“) will be Smirnov in QUEEN OF SPADES, an adaptation of the 2015 Svyatoslav Podgaevskiy film “Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite“, which was the highest-grossing Russian-language horror film of all time. Four teenagers playfully summon a mirror-dwelling demon by drawing a door and staircase on a mirror in a darkened room, and reciting her name (The Queen of Spades) three times. Soon their apartment is filled with strange shadows, one of the four is dead, and the youngest daughter is possessed by a snarling demon. The remake stars Ava Preston (Gloria in I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD), and is directed by Patrick White from a screenplay by John Ainslie. Filming was completed late last year. No release date has been announced.
Mairzee Almas, who directed “Let Them Burn” (LG 5.15), directs episodes 5 and 6 of SHADOW AND BONE, an eight-episode series based on the Grishaverse books by Leigh Bardugo. At the start of the books (there are eight of them) a very Russia-like country called Ravka is surrounded by enemies and has been divided by the Shadow Fold, an area of nearly impenetrable darkness inhabited by monsters who feed on human flesh. Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) is a peasant girl employed for her mapping skills. When her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend (her one true love who does not love her back, played by Archie Renaux) is severely wounded, she discovers a dormant power within her that saves his life and might someday set Ravka free. Alina is taken to the Royal Court to be trained to become a member of the Grisha, a magical elite led by someone called The Darkling (Ben Barnes). David J Peterson created a fantasy language for the series. (He also created the Dothraki language for Game of Thrones.) SHADOW AND BONE was filmed mostly in Budapest, Hungary, and should be on Netflix later this year.