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The Romanoffs: Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner's Star-Studded Series Headed For Amazon

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner is at it again. And by "it," we mean prestige television and casting Christina Hendricks and John Slattery in the same project, but that doesn't quite have the same ring to it. 

Over the weekend, Amazon unveiled the first teaser for Weiner's upcoming series The Romanoffs, which features a glittering cast. Of course, there's Hendricks and Slattery (Joan Holloway-Harris and Roger Sterling to us Mad Men fans) as well as Cara Buono and Jay R. Ferguson (more Mad Men alum, having played Faye Miller and Stan Rizzo, respectively). 

There's also Clea Duvall, Aaron Eckhart, Diane Lane, Hera Hilmar, Isabelle Huppert, Jack Huston, Marthe Keller, Annet Mahendru, Ben Miles, Amanda Peet, Corey Stoll, Andrew Rannells, Paul Reiser, Emily Rudd, Hugh Skinner, and plenty more — enough to fill up half of the teaser, which you can watch above. 

Based on the announcement footage alone, there isn't much information to glean beyond the facts that Weiner is behind the series and a ton of well-known stars will appear in it. So what even is The Romanoffs all about? Is it another period piece like Mad Men? Will its main character assume a dead man's identity and be wracked with guilt for the better part of his adult life about it?

Well, The Romanoffs actually isn't a period piece like Weiner's previous work, and while we can't say whether any characters will lead double lives in the series, we do know what the story centers around and how it will be structured. 

The Romanoffs is an anthology series — but not in the way that American Horror Story is, more in the fashion of Black Mirror. According to Weiner, via The Hollywood Reporter, "every single episode — and there will be eight — has a different cast, a different story, and a different location."

What ties each episode together is the shared narrative: all of the episodes feature people who are convinced they are descendants of the Romanov (often spelt "Romanoff") family, the last Russian dynasty that ruled from 1613 until the Bolsheviks of the Russian Social Democratic Party assumed power during the October Revolution in 1917. A year later, Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina Alexandra, and their five children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Alexei, and the famed Anastasia were murdered. To this day, many believed that Anastasia actually escaped execution and went on to have a family of her own. 

Speaking with Variety in March of 2017, Weiner explained his motivations for creating The Romanoffs: "We're at a place in our history where people are looking for a close connection to their roots, and for some kind of revelation about who they are. There's great debate about who is a Romanoff and what happened to the Romanoffs. The story for me is that we're all questioning who we are and who we say we are."

It's still anyone's guess which characters the series' 20-plus-deep cast will play or how their respective stories will unravel, but one thing's for certain: the 1997 animated musical film Anastasia this series is not. (Granted, we wouldn't be too surprised if Weiner slipped in a musical number à la Bert Cooper singing "The Best Things in Life Are Free." Mad Men got a little loose in its final seasons, huh?) 

The Romanoffs is set to premiere on Amazon on October 12.