Say Hi to 'Julia' ! HBO Max Releases First Look Photos of New Julia Child Series, Sets Premiere Date

PEOPLE has exclusive photos of Julia, the new eight-episode series inspired by the life of beloved chef Julia Child, ahead of the March 31 premiere

Julia child series
HBO Max's new series, Julia. Photo: Seacia Pavao/hbo max

Julia Child's legendary life story is just weeks away from hitting the screen.

Julia, which premieres on HBO Max on March 31, will follow the life of the beloved chef and the impact of her long-running television series, The French Chef, which helped pioneer the modern cooking show and popularize French cuisine in America in the 1960s.

Ahead of the series premiere, PEOPLE has the first look at the show and its cast with eight exclusive photos.

Julia child series
HBO Max's new series, Julia. Seacia Pavao/hbo max

The still images show Sarah Lancashire in the role of Julia, looking nearly identical to Child, as well as David Hyde Pierce, who plays the role of her husband Paul Child.

Bebe Neuwirth, Fran Kranz, Fiona Glascott and Brittany Bradford also star in the upcoming series. Neuwirth plays culinary book editor Avis DeVoto, Kranz takes on the role of television producer Russ Morash, Glascott will play writer/editor Judith Jones and Bradford takes on the role of Alice Naman.

"Through Julia's life and her singular joie de vivre, the series explores a pivotal time in American history – the emergence of public television as a new social institution, feminism and the women's movement, the nature of celebrity and America's cultural evolution," reads a logline for the series by HBO Max. "At its heart, the series is a portrait of a loving marriage with a shifting power dynamic."

Julia child series
HBO Max's new series, Julia. Seacia Pavao/hbo max

Chris Keyser, the showrunner and executive producer of Julia, tells PEOPLE of the biographical series: "Julia Child changed our attitude about food. She put public television on the map. She modeled the idea of a modern, independent woman. And yet all of that put together doesn't quite explain why, 60 years later, we still can't get her out of our heads."

Keyser adds, "That has something to do with our intuition that how she approached cooking is how we should approach all of life. It's also how we tried to make this show — with joy, about joy."

Julia child series
HBO Max's new series, Julia. Seacia Pavao/hbo max

Daniel Goldfarb, the creator and executive producer of Julia, echoes Keyser's sentiments.

"Julia Child had a singular can-do spirit that is timeless and inspiring and seems more miraculous than ever. She was delightfully ahead of her time in almost every way. She did everything – and she did it with grace, humor, compassion, and endless charm," he says.

"And Sarah Lancashire, one of the world's great actors, brings her fully to life, in all her inspiring complexity and humanity. I can't wait for the world to see her Julia," Goldfarb adds.

Julia child series
HBO Max's new series, Julia. Seacia Pavao/hbo max

In addition to Keyser and Goldfarb, Erwin Stoff of 3 Arts Entertainment, Kimberly Carver and Charles McDougall will serve as executive producers on the series, which is being produced by Lionsgate and 3 Arts Entertainment.

Todd Schulkin will also be a consulting producer on the series on behalf of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Art, the foundation that Child established in 1995 which provides grants to non-profit organizations.

As the name suggests, the grants primarily support gastronomy, the culinary arts and the development of the professional food world, all of which were important to Child during her lifetime.

HBO Max's new series, Julia.

This isn't the first time that Child's life is being adapted for a film or television series.

The beloved chef, who died in 2004 two days before her 92nd birthday, was famously portrayed on the screen by Meryl Streep in the 2009 film Julie & Julia.

In 2021, a documentary called Julia, which also told the story of Child's life, was released on the big screen. The film was co-directed by Besty West and Julia Cohen, whose 2018 documentary RBG about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nominated for an Academy Award.

Julia Child Series
HBO Max's new series, Julia. HBO Max

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Julia child series
HBO Max's new series, Julia. Seacia Pavao/hbo max

The first three episodes of Julia will debut on HBO Max on March 31, and weekly episodes will follow through May 5.

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