A Rome feature film is becoming less of a “maybe some day” and more of a “definitely soon.” At the end of 2008 it was reported here that series co-creator Bruno Heller wanted to see Rome rise again. There doesn’t seem to be much holding it back now, with the script having been completed and the stars having a desire to film it.
HBO may be realizing that they prematurely cancelled Rome, a co-production with the BBC. The program shows the violent transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Heller had a multi-year plan for the series but, when he learned the it was ending after the second season, he hurried his story along. The series stars Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson, and also features Indira Varma, David Bamber, Chiara Mastalli, Manfredi Aliquo, Suzanne Bertish, Max Pirkis, Lee Boardman, Esther Hall, and Ciaran Hinds.
Despite the fact that Heller seemed to kill off McKidd’s character, Lucius Vorenus, he left himself an out. Vorenus was indeed seriously wounded and appeared to die, but his body was never shown being sent to the afterlife. Heller explains, “It was very deliberate that we saw him drifting away, but didn’t see him atop a funeral pyre.” Kidd himself even adds in, “I never closed my eyes!”
With the big screen success of another HBO series, Sex and the City, and the success of Starz’ historical series Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Heller has found time (when not working on CBS’ hugely successful The Mentalist) to finish a big screen sequel to Rome.
Morning Light Productions is financing the development of the film and will produce as well. While the series began with Caesar’s invasion of Gaul and featured the rise of the first Emperor Augustus, the story in the film will pick up in Germany four years after the series’ end.
Up next is signing the series stars, and finding a director and studio. McKidd has expressed interest and has said, “We’re just trying to get the director nailed down. All the [actors whose] characters are still alive on the show are very keen to get back.”
McKidd is figuring the movie would most likely film during his break from Grey’s Anatomy in 2011. He thinks that would work well with the storyline picking up a few years from where the series ended, as “We’re meant to be a little older and wiser.”
What do you think? Would you go to see a Rome feature film?
Image courtesy HBO.