For the past few years, Lionsgate has been all about the YA franchises, from Twilight to Hunger Games to Divergent. But with the former of those already ended years ago, and the latter two about to wrap up, they’re looking toward a totally different franchise for their future. In the past. Also one not filled with gifted young people or romantic intrigue or constant politicking among the harshly defined social strata. No, wait… It actually has all that stuff, just told really excitingly without the need for stalkerish vampires, absurd dystopian futures and the world’s dumbest class system. Oh and it’s also mostly true.
Deadline are reporting that Lionsgate are teaming with newly formed White Horse Productions to co-produce Emperor, an adaptation of Conn Iggulden’s best selling historical fiction series focusing on the rise and fall of Julius Caesar and his best friend turned infamous betrayer Marcus Brutus (two thousand years old SPOILER alert: Brutus literally stabbed Caesar in the back).
The film, which is possibly going to be the first in a trilogy, is actually an adaptation of two different books in Iggulden’s series – The Gates Of Rome and The Field Of Swords – “that establish the relationship between Caesar (the great military leader) and Marcus (the great fighter) from boyhood. The books cover their rise to the top of the Roman Empire, and the political and romantic entanglements that culminate in that fatal encounter on the floor of the Roman Senate. The final novel covers the revenge taken on Caesar’s murderers by Octavius and Mark Antony”.
Emperor is reportedly a top priority at Lionsgate with the studio looking to secure a director as soon as possible. They already have a script in place, co-scripted by a quartet of mostly high profile writers in William Broyles Jr (Cast Away, Apollo 13), Burr Steers (Pride, Prejudice And Zombies), Ian Mackenzie Jeffers (The Grey), and Stephen Harrigan (Hallmark’s Cleopatra).
Producers Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton, who also worked together on 300, had this to say about Emperor:
“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.”
Iggulden’s Emperor truly is an amazing read and could make for one hell of a sword and sandal epic if the right director and cast is found to give this story its due.
Last Updated: August 31, 2015