“Anna K” (working title), a contemporary retelling of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel “Anna Karenina,” will be Netflix’s first Russian original drama series.

The series is set in modern day Russia, where socialite Anna Karenina, the wife of the soon-to-become governor of St. Petersburg, embarks on a love affair with Vronsky, the heir of an aluminium empire. Their affair quickly careens out of control, threatening the delicate balance of their familial bonds and social relationships. The setting alternates between cosmopolitan Moscow, historic St. Petersburg and Russia’s rugged countryside.

Svetlana Khodchenkova (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) is set to play Anna Karenina.

Written by Roman Kantor, the series will be directed by Valeriy Fedorovich, Evgeniy Nikishov, Natasha Merkulova, Aleksey Chupov and Kantor.

Michael Azzolino, director original series, Netflix, said: “We are incredibly proud to announce our first Russian series with 1-2-3 Production. The talented team of writers, directors and producers have crafted an imaginative and immersive series. We are excited to help bring their vision for this much admired story to our members in Russia and the world.”

Valeriy Fedorovich and Evgeniy Nikishov of 1-2-3 Production said: “We are extremely honored that our team has been entrusted with the creation of the first commissioned Russian TV drama series for the leading global entertainment service with over 200 million members. This endeavor is beyond exciting and challenging, but since the backbone of the future series is based on one of the world’s fundamental pieces of literature dedicated to love, we are hopeful that we will be able to touch the hearts of viewers from Australia to Brazil. We are armed with a great script adaptation by Roman Kantor and Maria Mikulina and top talent both in front and behind the camera, including co-directors Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov. We fully trust our team and are confident that the result will exceed expectations. It is our first experience working hand-in-hand with the Netflix team, and we are very inspired by the synergy we’ve already established and what will come out of it.”

Kantor said: “To bring Anna Karenina into 21st-century Russia and to simultaneously introduce her to the whole world in her own language (and many others) through the miracle of Netflix is a dream come true for me. Quite literally so, as the idea for this TV series came to me in a dream and I have been chasing it ever since.”

Sergey Kornikhin of production company Droog Drooga added: “We are really proud to be a part of one of the first Netflix projects in Russia – it is a big honour and a huge responsibility. To rephrase the famous quote, it is a small step for our company, but a huge step for the whole industry.”

Producers include Valeriy Fedorovich, Evgeniy Nikishov, Sergey Kornikhin and Kantor. The series will be shot on location across Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The series will launch on Netflix worldwide. A premiere date is yet to be announced.