In what has to be some of the most bizarre casting news in recent history, Elizabeth Hurley has apparently been cast as the Queen of England in a new E! drama series (uh, E! makes something besides Real Housewives incarnations?) that is a loose adaptation of Hamlet called The Royals, I guess. This whole thing is bizarre. Let’s see what Deadline has to say about it:
British actress Elizabeth Hurley is set for regal duty with a starring role in the hourlong E! pilot The Royals, from Lionsgate TV and the One Tree Hill team of creator Mark Schwahn and producers Brian Robbins & Joe Davola. Written by Schwahn, The Royals is a contemporary drama about a fictional royal family informed by the regal opulence of the British monarchy and framed by Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Part fairy tale, part cautionary tale, the show is described as a tale of men and women corrupted by power, wealth and desire. I’ve learned that Hurley will play the sexy, devious and conflicted Queen Helena, who struggles to cope with the death of her oldest son and the crisis of confidence this creates with her husband, King Simon, while working to deter the growing relationship between her middle son, now the heir apparent, and his American girlfriend. Hurley recently had a major recurring role on the CW’s Gossip Girl. The Royals is one of the first two scripted pilots greenlighted by E!, along with Songbyrd.
Okay, so let me get this straight. This is a scripted adaptation of Hamlet on E!, of all networks, that’s created by the One Tree Hill people, who thought casting Liz Hurley as the Queen of England (presumably because she’s British and desperate for work) was a great idea? Sounds like a recipe for delicious disaster.
Of course, we can’t get too excited just yet – it’s only in pilot stages thus far, so it may not actually make it to air as a full series. Knowing E!, however, it’ll get ten seasons.