Julius Caesar’s reign as dictator over the Roman Empire lasted only a few short years, but his name live on centuries later. Though he’s been depicted in numerous fictional works over the years, the latest project to tackle the Emperor has been in various stages of development since 2010. Now, Lionsgate and White Horse Pictures have teamed up for Emperor, an adaptation of author Conn Iggulden’s novel series chronicling the rise of the young Julius Caesar and Brutus, who would become the dictator’s most infamous assassin (spoiler!).
Variety, via Deadline, reports that the new project, pitched as a combination of 300 and Game of Thrones, was scripted by William Broyles Jr., Stephen Harrigan, Burr Steers and Ian Mackenzie Jeffers. It’s adapted from Iggulden’s novels, starting with “Emperor: The Gates of Rome: A Novel of Julius Caesar” and continuing across four additional novels published over the last 10 years. In other words, Lionsgate has plenty of source material to work with should the first picture catch on. Then again, Emperor has been in the works since at least 2010, so we’ll see if it moves further along the production pipeline this time around.
White Horse Pictures’ Nigel Sinclair, Hollywood Gang Productions’ Gianni Nunnari, Atmosphere Entertainment’s Mark Canton and Matt Jackson will produce the picture, with White Horse partner Guy East, William Broyles Jr., Tony To and Alex Brunner on board as Executive Producers. Here’s what Nunnari and Canton had to say about the upcoming project:
“Combining the sweep of ‘300’ with the intrigue of ‘Game of Thrones,’ this is the part of the story of the mighty Julius Caesar that nobody knows – his emergence alongside Brutus as young powerhouses in Rome, a fresh and contemporary retelling of their rivalries, passions and jealousies, captured in a movie with breath-taking action, spectacular visual effects and epic scope.”
I’m not familiar with Iggulden’s Emperor series, but the Dangerous book series he co-authored with his brother Hal is delightful. Then again, they don’t often end with one companion stabbing the other to death…