(Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Raza Jaffrey, who is known for playing pivotal roles in such popular shows as Code Black, Spooks, and Homeland, has been cast to essay the character of Francois Guise in the upcoming Starz drama series The Serpent Queen.

Based on the book Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Frieda, the series features Samantha Morton as Catherine De Medici.

Catherine de Medici went from commoner to the center of power when she married into the 16th century French court as an orphaned teenager expected to bring a fortune in dowry and produce many heirs. It’s a rough start, as she discovers her husband is in love with an older woman, her dowry is unpaid and she’s unable to conceive. Yet, only with her intelligence and determination, she manages to keep her marriage alive and masters the blood sport that is the monarchy better than anyone else, ruling France for 50 years.

Justin Haythe has written The Serpent Queen and is set to executive produce with Francis Lawrence and Erwin Stoff. Stacie Passon has been tapped to direct several episodes of the eight-episode series. Lionsgate Television and 3 Arts Entertainment are producing the series for Starz.

Jaffrey was most recently seen in The Rhythm Section (2020) co-starring Blake Lively and Jude Law. He continues to play his recurring role in the rebooted Lost In Space series for Netflix. His forthcoming projects also include Netflix’s feature film Sweet Girl, as well as the upcoming AMC animated series Pantheon and Renny Harlin’s Refuge.

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Tags: Raza Jaffrey, The Serpent Queen, Starz, Stacie Passon