Halle Berry To Executive Produce History Channel Project Hannibal
The History Channel may have a thriving drama in Vikings, but the cable station is still looking at lucrative miniseries to bring in big ratings. This week, we’ve shed light on the network’s latest project, a miniseries called Hannibal that currently has Halle Berry on board as an executive producer. No, we’re not talking about the refined cannibal that’s into Chianti and human flesh. We’re talking about the ancient African general who forged alliances and fought ferocious battles.
Hannibal is currently in development over at The History Channel, but things are looking pretty good for the project. Not only does it fit the channel’s policy of telling real-life stories with a dramatic bent, Berry is also already on board to get the ball rolling, and The Constant Gardener writer Jeffrey Caine is signed on to pen the script for the miniseries and executive produce. A+E Studios and Red Arrow Entertainment are also behind the developing program, with Steven Jensen, Vincent Cirrincione, Simon Maxwell, Dirk Hoogstra, Elaine Frontain Bryant and Julian P. Hobbs are all signed on to executive produce, as well. All of these things combined don’t necessarily mean the project will be greenlighted to series, but History is really working to beef up its programming, and Hannibal sounds as if it would be a good fit for a channel that has already seen success with minis like Hatfields & McCoys and The Bible.
While the Hannibal title refers to General Hannibal Barca, THR is actually reporting that Hannibal’s archrival Scipio Africanus will play a key role in the miniseries, which will be set in Carthage beginning around 264 B.C. when Hannibal was young and will follow the character throughout his epic lifetime. During the miniseries, Carthage and Rome will fight the second Punic War, and Hannibal and Scipio will forge a complicated relationship.
Hannibal isn’t the only miniseries History has in the works right now. Adrien Brody is headed to TV to star in the coming months as Harry Houdini in the network’s Houdini miniseries. Additionally, the network is looking into remaking The Roots miniseries that earned a whopping 37 Emmy nominations back in the seventies. The original was also a ratings success, and it’s not a huge shock that History might want to tackle the famous drama for a new generation of audiences. If Hannibal moves forward, it should fit right in with the planned biopics and historical dramas History already has in the works.
Since Vikings is not set to return until sometime in 2014, if you are wanting some historical-based drama sooner than that, you can check out the multi-network miniseries, Bonnie & Clyde starting on December 8 on The History Channel, A&E, and Lifetime. The story isn't exactly ancient history, but it should provide a few nights of entertainment for history buffs.
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