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Another Period Drama Series About Austrian Empress Sisi Is in the Works

Another TV head-to-head is brewing with the announcement of a second period drama series about Austrian Empress Elisabeth II – known as Sisi – in the works.

Germany’s Story House Pictures and Austria-based Satel Film, which made Netflix’s “Freud,” are collaborating on “Sisi,” a six-part drama that goes into production in 2020. News of the project comes as Picture Perfect Federation, the company recently launched by Patrick Wachsberger and Pascal Breton, sets to adapting books about Sisi for its own series on the strong-willed empress.

Andreas Gutzeit and Heinrich Ambrosch are the producers of the Story House-Satel Film project. Told from the perspective of her closest confidants, the series takes a new look at its subject’s life and reveals a multi-layered woman as she evolves from the youthful Sisi into Empress Elisabeth. Dorothee Schön and Sabine Thor-Wiedemann are writing.

“‘Sisi’ is a premium TV series that revives the splendor of the Habsburg monarchy and creates a memorable figure,” Gutzeit said. “Audiences all over the world will fall in love with her all over again.”

Picture Perfect Federation has tapped Amy Jenkins, a writer on “The Crown,” to adapt novelist Allison Pataki’s bestselling books into a series that will also tell the story of Sisi’s gradual embrace of her imperial power.

The dueling “Sisi” projects are the latest in a line of period drama face-offs.

The BBC is about to launch “The War of the Worlds,” a new take on the H.G. Wells alien invasion classic, starring Rafe Spall and Eleanor Tomlinson. It goes up against Fox Networks Europe and Africa’s “War of the Worlds,”which stars Elizabeth McGovern and Gabriel Byrne. As well as dropping the definite article in the title, Fox’s iteration differs from the BBC show by moving the action to the modern day.

In another battle of the empresses, Sky and HBO series “Catherine the Great,” with Helen Mirren in the title role, is vying against Hulu’s “The Great,” with Elle Fanning as the famed Russian ruler.

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