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A Gentleman In Moscow - What We Know So Far

Back in August of 2017, it was announced that Entertainment One, in association with Paramount Global's international studio unit VIS, would be adapting Amor Towles' 2016 critically acclaimed novel "A Gentleman in Moscow" into a mini-series (per Deadline).

In August of this year, Paramount Premium Group CEO David Nevins not only revealed that the series would be coming to Paramount+ and Showtime, but he also disclosed who'd be breathing new life into the book's protagonist, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, a man who is vilified and sentenced by a Bolshevik tribunal to life-long house arrest in the attic of a grand hotel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ewan McGregor, known for his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the "Star Wars" franchise, and for his role as Renton in Danny Boyle's "Trainspotting," will be portraying the book's titular character and will be an executive producer.

But it was not until a few months later, in early November of 2022, that there was confirmation of who would be directing the series. Even so, the release window for the series is not that far off. Here's what we know about "A Gentleman in Moscow" so far. 

When will A Gentleman in Moscow be released?

It became public in August that the "A Gentleman in Moscow" mini-series would premiere sometime in 2023. The series is part of a slate of 150 international titles that Paramount+ intends to release by 2025 (via The Hollywood Reporter). 

"A Gentleman in Moscow" will debut in 2023 on Paramount+ in the United Kingdom and other international markets where the streamer is available. It will premiere on Showtime in the United States. Paramount+ was made available in the UK and Ireland on June 2022, in September in Italy, and, come December, it will also expand to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and France.

Executive Vice Present and International General Manager of Paramount+ Marco Nobili said: "As the service continues to expand internationally, there's a great opportunity for content to travel globally, opening up a world of opportunities for talent and creators as we plan to commission 150 international originals by 2025, while delivering incredible value to subscribers on Paramount+."

Other titles that Paramount has commissioned for this upcoming slate of originals include "Murder of God's Banker," "The Chemistry of Death," "One Must Die," "Los Enviados" ("The Envoys"), "A Thin Line," "Marie Antoinette Serial Killer," "At Midnight," "The Signal," "Impact," and many more.

What is the plot of A Gentleman in Moscow?

The Paramount+ mini-series is based on American author Amor Towles' second novel, released on September 6, 2016.

"A Gentleman in Moscow" tells the story of a Russian aristocrat who, one hundred years ago in 1922, gets on the bad side of the wrong people and is banished in a Soviet trial. Thankfully for him, he is spared a death sentence, and instead gets imprisoned in the attic of the luxurious Metropol, an opulent hotel which is located on the opposite side of the street from the Kremlin. For over 40 years, the Count has to live through some of the most turbulent times in Russian history from a place where he is unable to do anything or even realize the full impact of the events that are happening in his country. However, although he is technically a prisoner, Rostov gets to build memorable connections with others and, in this way, figures out the true value of the human bonds of love, family, and friendship.

The first paragraph of a book review published in The Washington Post reads: "How delightful that in an era as crude as ours this finely composed new novel by Amor Towles stretches out with old-World elegance. 'A Gentleman in Moscow' offers a chance to sink back into a lost attitude of aristocracy — equal parts urbane and humane — just what we might expect from the author of that 2011 bestseller "Rules of Civility." But if Towles's story is an escape we crave, it is also, ironically, a story of imprisonment."

Who stars in A Gentleman in Moscow?

As mentioned above, the actor with the honor of portraying such a complex, intriguing, and witty character like Count Alexander Rostov is none other than the brilliant Scottish actor and Golden Globe-winner Ewan McGregor. However, McGregor was not always the first choice for the role. Originally, back in 2018, Kenneth Branagh was the one who'd been cast as the Count (via Variety). There is no official reason as to why this casting change happened. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, McGregor, who is also executive producing the series, said: "It's an amazing, wonderful story and I am very excited to get to play such a fabulous role."

McGregor recently reprised his role as Obi-Wan in the Disney+ mini-series "Obi-Wan Kenobi". He is also lending his voice as the Talking Cricket in Guillermo del Toro's "Pinocchio," which comes to Netflix on December 9. In addition, McGregor is set to star in Doug Liman's "Everest" as mountaineer George Mallory, an Englishman known for his courageous part in the first three British expeditions to Mount Everest.

Who is directing A Gentleman in Moscow?

It became known in November 2022 that BAFTA Award-winner Sam Miller will be sitting on the director's chair for "A Gentleman in Moscow," in addition to executive producing (per The Hollywood Reporter). The English director has quite a few TV titles under his belt, having directed all 12 episodes of "I May Destroy you" (for which he received the BAFTA). He also served as director for some episodes of "Snowpiercer," "Rellik," "Luther," and, most recently, "Surface," starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw in the main role.

Other members of the crew besides Miller include Ben Vanstone ("The Last Kingdom") who will serve as a writer, executive producer, and showrunner. Popcorn Storm Pictures' Tom Harper is producing, with Xavier Marchand and Towles as executive producers.

According to Variety, Harper made a statement which reads: "The book is a rare and delicious treat and I fell in love with it the moment I picked it up six years ago. We are thrilled that Amor entrusted this brilliant team with bringing the Metropol to life and couldn't be more delighted that Ewan will be playing the Count."