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If treated properly, historical biopics on famous leaders can be inspirational - or at the very least entertaining in a thought provoking manner. We’ve seen it with Frost/Nixon, Hyde Park On Hudson, and even with the recent Netflix series Marco Polo. If you handle the facts with enough dramatic flourish, people will take notice. As if taking its cues from that very Netflix series, as well as HBO’s Game Of Thrones, the producers behind the 300 franchise are ready to tell the tale of Julius Caesar in a similarly thrilling manner.
Variety broke the scoop that producers Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton, veterans of both 300 and 300: Rise Of An Empire, have jumped on board as two of the producers for Emperor, an upcoming film about Julius Caeser. According to the trade, the project will aim to tell the untold story of the Rome’s great leader– following him as he rises to power alongside Brutus, and working as "a fresh and contemporary retelling of their rivalries, passions and jealousies."
Emperor is an adaptation of the Conn Iggulden authored book series of the same name, which ran from 2009 to 2013 and covered the co-mingled life stories of Julius and Marcus. Considering that the book series took its time going from their shared childhood to Brutus’ infamous betrayal of Caesar on the Ides of March, it will be interesting to see if this is being planned as a single film, or potentially the first part of a trilogy. Shared childhood memories, a leader forged by war, all leading to an ultimate betrayal? Yeah… this is definitely a story that can be told through the Game Of Thrones model of storytelling.
In fact, considering that the HBO series, as well as both 300 films are invoked in the announcement of Emperor’s development, it’s a fair bet that this film isn’t going to be particularly accurate to history. If anything, this sounds like it’s going to be a hard R-rated spectacle with tons of blood, nudity, and accents of European descent to keep audiences entertained in the theater after they’ve run out of Game Of Thrones episodes to watch. While we’ve seen historical films that have played around with the origins and events of the figures that have inspired them, we really haven’t seen Julius Caesar approached in such a manner. So while we might grow a bit tired of the idea’s execution, at the very least we’ll be seeing a historical subject that doesn’t have as much cinematic fatigue attached to it.
At the very least, we should expect Emperor to be an entertaining thrill ride that may or may not include speed ramping effects in its bag of tricks. But if we’re lucky, perhaps someone like Ridley Scott will attach themselves to this picture, turning what could be an action schlock fest into an action film like Gladiator that manages to balance the human drama involved with the amount of carnage provided.