Historical series ‘The White Queen’ to reign on Starz

STARZ is turning back the clock to 15th century England for its next original series, “The White Queen.”

Based on Philippa Gregory”s bestselling book series entitled “The Cousins War,” the new 10-episode series will take place during the War of the Roses, and explores some of the women at the heart of the bloody, 30-year struggle for the royal throne which started in 1455.

“Red Riding Hood’s” Max Irons plays Edward IV, who is crowned King of England — with the help of Lord Warwick (James Frain, returning to the era of “The Tudors”) — but soon secretly marries Elizabeth Woodville (newcomer Rebecca Ferguson), endangering his reign.

“Queen” will also star Oscar nominee Janet McTeer (“Albert Nobbs”) as Woodville’s mother (a self-proclaimed sorceress). Amanda Hale will play the power-hungry mother of Henry Tudorand. Newcomer Faye Marsay will play Warwick’s young daughter, who later marries future-king Richard III.

Colin Callender (“Magic City”) will executive produce.

“Phillipa Gregory”s novels have become runaway best sellers with passionate fans the world over, making this a project ripe for reimagining,” said Starz’ Carmi Zlotnik. “The period of England”s Wars of the Roses makes for a sensational historical backdrop as a time fraught with violence, mystery and intrigue. We are excited to be working with an incredibly talented team, both in front and behind the camera, that is taking on such an ambitious project and bringing this riveting story to life.”

The project reunites Calendar and Starz CEO Chris Albrecht who worked at HBO together.

Albrecht added “Carmi and I have worked with Colin for many years, and we are excited to have such a world-class movie and television visionary lending his talents to our STARZ series.”

“The White Queen” will premiere on STARZ sometime in 2013.