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[dropcap]K[/dropcap]iefer Sutherland is to step back in time to Ancient Rome, after signing up to play a villainous senator in the upcoming blockbuster Pompeii.

Set in the days leading up to the infamous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, the film promises to be a bombastic, big-budget 3D spectacular.

Director Paul W.S. Anderson is in the chair, whilst Sutherland’s co-stars include Game of Thrones favourite Kit Harrington, who plays the good-guy slave finding himself stuck on board a ship with a small window of opportunity to save the love of his life, played by Emily Browning.

Anderson has been a busy boy lately. Last year saw the release of Resident Evil: Retribution, with work on the sixth addition to the franchise due to start later this year for a 2014 slot. Sandwiched in between is Pompeii, for which shooting started in Toronto a little less than a fortnight ago.

As for Kiefer Sutherland, the prospect of him donning a toga and sandals may seem like uncharted waters, but the part is, in essence, familiar territory. We need only cast our minds back to two Joel Schumacher flicks to realise that Mr Sutherland does a delicious turn in villainy. His role as vampire David in horror-comedy The Lost Boys saw him really hit the big-time, whilst his voice became the chilling centrepiece of Phone Booth.

It’s a cert that Pompeii will create even more tourism for one of Italy’s most visited heritage sites, but what’s not so clear-cut is how on earth the film could possibly end. As we know, the molten lava and ash that Vesuvius spewed out all those centuries ago engulfed everyone and everything in its path. A ship, therefore, would be the only possible safe haven, so will anyone escape to sea, or are we in for a Titanic-style ending, with the course of true love being ended prematurely by complete disaster?

Pre-Pompeii, Sutherland will be seen around May-time in the thriller The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Afterwards, he is hopeful of a return as Jack Bauer in a feature film version of 24,which is scheduled for release later on this year.

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