Despite becoming something of a niched genre at best in recent years, White Horse Pictures and Lionsgate seem to be trying to bring the Sword and Sandal epic back into popular consciousness following the disappointing return of Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) and Dwayne Johnson’s The Legend of Hercules (2014).
It has recently been reported that the two companies will produce Emperor, the first in a trilogy of films based on the novels by Conn Iggulden, with Nigel Sinclair, Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton and Matt Jackson taking the (chariot) reins as producers. It is likely that Emperor will be based upon The Gates of Rome (2003), the first in Iggulden’s series which concerns the friendship between Gaius Julius Caesar and Marcus Junius Brutus as well as the civil war between the Roman Dictator Sulla and the general Gaius Marius.
In Deadline Hollywood‘s article, the producers described the project as a “fresh and inventive coming-of-age story” and said that it would combine “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 the 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.”
Although this is the first adaption of Caesar’s story to hit the big screen in several years, there have been several recent examples in television where the Roman politician has been an integral character, most notably in Spartacus: War of the Damned where he was portrayed by Australian actor Todd Lasance and Rome, where he was portrayed by American-Canadian actor Colm Feore. So far there has been no news on casting for Emperor.
The script was written by executive producer William Broyles Jr., as well as Stephen Harrigan, who wrote the historical novel The Gates of the Alamo (2000), Burr Steers, who wrote 17 Again (2009), and Ian Mackenzie Jeffers, who wrote The Grey (2011).
As of yet, no release date for Emperor has been announced