Following the recent release of season 2 of The Great, Hulu’s hit historical drama-comedy series has been renewed for a third instalment.
The Hulu original, which describes itself as the “occasionally true story” of Russia’s longest-reigning female ruler Catherine the Great, was met with heaps of praise on Twitter for its outlandish and satirical approach to history.
Last month, The Great season two officially landed in the UK, bringing plenty more playful power struggles to our screens as Catherine (played by Elle Fanning) took the throne from her inept husband Peter (Nicholas Hoult), and battled to bring enlightenment to the country.
By all accounts, the second season went down a storm, scoring a 100% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and three Critics Choice Award nominations.
It makes completes sense, then, that the critically acclaimed dramedy – which is also one of Hulu’s top-performing original comedies – has been renewed for a 10-episode third season.
While no premiere date has yet been set, the first and second seasons are available to stream in their entirety. As we wait for more details to emerge about the next instalment, read ahead to find out everything we know about The Great season two.
What is The Great season two about?
In season one, viewers saw Catherine (Elle Fanning) put together a plan to overthrow her mercurial husband, Emperor Peter III (Nicholas Hoult), with the help of her supporters. But things don’t, as you might expect, go exactly to plan.
After Peter finds out Catherine’s plan – as well as the fact that she is pregnant with his heir – he gives her an ultimatum: lose her lover, Leo (Sebastian de Souza), or lose the coup. This is, of course, a tricky decision for Catherine. But, after consulting the philosopher Voltaire (Dustin Demri-Burns), she decides to sacrifice Leo for the sake of Russia.
With this in mind, season two has plenty of plot points to explore, including Catherine’s journey to power, her pregnancy (which was confirmed in a first-look image Hulu released earlier this year), and her tumultuous relationship with Peter.
As the official season two synopsis reads: “Catherine finally takes the Russian throne for her own – but if she thought coup-ing her husband was difficult, it’s nothing compared to the realities of liberating a country that doesn’t want to be.
“She’ll battle her court, her team, ever her own mother, in a bid to bring the Enlightenment to Russia. Meanwhile, she’ll also battle her heart as Peter slowly transitions from a much-hated husband to a prisoner? Ally? Lover?”
It continues: “Ultimately, Catherine will learn that to change a country, you must let it change you, that there is a fine line between idealism and delusion, and that becoming ‘Great’ will ask more of her than she could have imagined.”
Who stars in The Great season two?
Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult are definitely returning for season two – but who else can you expect to see on screen?
As far as new additions to the cast go, there’s one particularly exciting new face joining the line-up: none other than Sex Education and The Crown’s Gillian Anderson, who will appear in two episodes as Catherine’s mother, Joanna.
Although nothing has yet to be confirmed, it’s likely most of the show’s original cast will return for season two. That is, of course, except Sebastian de Souza, whose character Leo was killed (offscreen) at the end of season one.
According to Deadline, Joanna is a “glamorous socialite from Germany” who “has heard rumours of her daughter’s coup and come to Russia to see it for herself”.
The description continues: “Though the apple of Catherine’s eye and a doting mother, it soon becomes clear Johanna has more sinister intentions to save her family’s reputation.”
Is there a trailer for The Great season two?
Yes! You can find the first trailer for The Great below:
In the clip, we see Catherine waging war against her husband, Peter, all while being pregnant with her first child. While Catherine wants to stop the “bloodshed”, Peter has different intentions – and the pair continue to butt heads over what it takes to rule Russia.
“You honestly can’t think you can run Russia without bloodshed?” Peter can be heard asking Catherine, before she replies: “I will. I’m winning.”
Elsewhere, Gillian Anderson can be seen for the first time as Catherine’s mother Joanna, fainting off of her chair. It’s a lot to take in, isn’t it?
What has been said about The Great season two?
Sharing a photo of herself and fellow co-star Nicholas Hoult on set in July, Elle Fanning, who plays Catherine, confirmed that filming on the second season had wrapped, and hinted that things wouldn’t be calming down for Catherine anytime soon.
“Season 2 of The Great has officially wrapped. Wow,” she wrote. “What a tremendous feat filming in a global pandemic. I am eternally grateful for the crew that kept us all safe and going.
“This season is going to be WILLLLDDDD! I love them with all my heart. Cannot wait for you to see what we have cooked up!”
When will The Great season two be released?
The Great season two will be available to watch in the UK via Starzplay on Amazon Prime from 5 December, following its debut in the US on 19 November.
Season one also aired on Channel 4 six months after it arrived on StarzPlay, so we’ll be waiting patiently to see whether the same will happen for season two.
The Great seasons one and two are currently available to watch on StarzPlay via Amazon
As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.