According to Deadline, Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton, the men behind 300, are producing a new historical drama based on Conn Iggulden’s Emperor series of books. If the film does well, it’s likely that it will be the first in a trilogy. Nunnari and Canton are currently working on Tarsem Singh’s The Immortals, which will see Greek warrior Theseus fighting against Titans.
Between 2003 and 2005, Iggulden published four books in the Emperor series: The Gates of Rome, The Death of Kings, The Field of Swords, and The Gods of War. The first book, Gates of Rome, covers the period from 92 B.C. to 82 B.C., as Caesar and his friend Marcus, who are just boys at the beginning of the book, grow up outside of Rome. The remaining books chronicle Caesar and Brutus’s rise to power. Iggulden’s books are bestsellers, but it’s worth noting that they take substantial liberties with the historical source material.
Deadline asserts that the film might become a trilogy, even though there are four books. Given that the first book prominently features Caesar’s childhood, it’s possible that it could become compressed and combined with the second book for the final film. Obviously, other plot details could also be jettisoned favor of brevity, but either way, it’ll be interesting to see where the first film (and where the potential trilogy) will choose to end the storyline, especially since most people already know about Caesar’s ultimate fate.
Popular series like HBO’s Rome and hit movies like 300, Gladiator, and Clash of the Titans have demonstrated that there’s still a place in the market for the historical epic. Hopefully, Iggulden’s creative liberties at the story level will allow the filmmakers to craft a fresh take on the subject.