The new Sky original series Domina will bring to life the power struggles of Ancient Rome from a female perspective.
Produced by Fifty Fathoms (Fortitude) and Sky Studios, with Cattleya as executive production services, the epic ten-part drama follows the life and the extraordinary rise of Livia Drusilla, who overcame adversity to become the most powerful woman in the world. Kasia Smutniak (Perfect Strangers, Them, Devils) will star.
The cast also features Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) playing Livius, Livia’s father, and Isabella Rossellini (Blue Velvet, Death Becomes Her) playing Balbina, an early enemy. It is created and written by Simon Burke (Zen, Fortitude).
The series will air exclusively in all Sky territories, in Italy, the U.K., Ireland, Germany and Spain. NBCUniversal Global Distribution holds international rights in the rest of the world on behalf of Sky Studios.
Smutniak said: “I am thrilled to be playing such a complex character as Livia Drusilla. As a frontrunner in defending women’s rights, she was a tough woman who was both feared and cherished and was strong enough to seal the fate of the Roman Empire.”
Nicola Maccanico, executive VP of programming at Sky Italia, said: “Domina is an international production and we are very proud of its strong Italian roots. It is a great epic drama that brings to life ancient Rome again, but from a different perspective, that of the women, and reshapes our view of them. They are the masters of their fate and fiercely pursue their ambitions and ultimately the conquest of power. With Domina, Sky Studios will once again bring together major international artistic values and top Italian talents.”
Patrick Spence, managing director of Fifty Fathoms, said, “Simon’s scripts offer a unique opportunity to see Ancient Rome as it has never been shown before. Authentic, messy, visceral, and with the agenda driven quietly, but ruthlessly by the women.”
Claire McCarthy, Domina‘s lead director, said: “This period of Roman history is truth being stranger than fiction. I’m tremendously excited to bring this rich and visceral world to life with this incredible troupe of stellar actors and the gifted creative team. What an honor to be working out of Cinecittà studios too, where so many of the greats have built cinema history.”