'The Serpent Queen' Season 2 Sets July Premiere Date

Samantha Morton and Emma McDonald in "The Serpent Queen" Season 2

Samantha Morton and Emma McDonald in "The Serpent Queen" Season 2

(Photo: Starz)

The Medici bitch is back...or will be this summer. Starz has confirmed via its social media accounts that the second season of its dark and lavish period drama The Serpent Queen will premiere in July.  

The series stars Samantha Morton (Harlots) as the infamous French queen Catherine de Medici, a controversial figure that history often likes to remember in the worst of all possible lights. (Was she a sorceress who dabbled in the dark arts? Probably not. An enthusiastic lover of poison who may have used her extensive herbal knowledge to off her enemies? Maybe.) 

The first season of the series chronicled much of Catherine's early life, from her arrival in France to the death of both her husband and eldest son. Season 2 will see her second son take the throne as King Charles IX and the present-day story of the show catch up with the flashbacks Catherine has been narrating.  And since many of the darkest and and most dramatic events of her life are still to come --- including the infamous St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, a series of assassinations and widespread mob violence against French Huguenots --- so it's not like there's a shortage of story to tell. 

The series' second season will also introduce Minnie Driver (Starstruck) as another famous female monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. While the real Elizabeth and Catherine never met in life and frequently clashed over political and religious matters, they did regularly exchange letters with one another and found some areas of compromise. (Both women were fairly united in their dislike of Mary, Queen of Scots, for example.) 

Alongside Driver, nearly a dozen new characters are joining the cast in Season 2. Bill Milner (The Flatshare) takes over the role of Charles IX, with Phillippine Velge (Station Eleven) as Catherine's eldest daughter Margot and Stanley Morgan (Sexy Beast) as Hercules, Duke of Anjou, her youngest surviving son. 

Other notable new faces include Angus Imrie (Fleabag) as Henry de Bourbon-Navarre; Emma McDonald (Moonhaven) as an aged-up Rahima; Rosalie Craig (The Tower) as Jeanne d'Albret; Ashley Thomas (Great Expectations) as Alessandro de Medici; Alexandre Willaume (1899) as Montmorency, the Constable General of France; and Isobel Jesper Jones (The Bastard Son and the Devil Himself) as a Protestant preacher named Edith.

The series is based on Leonie Frieda's book Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France. Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road) wrote the scripts and also serves as an executive producer alongside Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games) and Erwin Stoff (The Matrix). Lionsgate Television and 3 Arts Entertainment produce the series for STARZ.

The Serpent Queen Season 2 will premiere on July 12. Season 1 is currently streaming on the Starz app. 

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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