Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment, the studio responsible for Twilight and Divergent, is developing a new spin on the next great hero. EMPEROR, based on the book series by Conn Iggulden, centers on the rise of a young Julius Caeser and his friend-turned eventual assassinator Marcus Brutus.
The Game of Thrones-esque picture was scripted by William Broyles Jr., Stephen Harrigan, Burr Steers, and Ian Mackenzie. Summit is producing with White Horse Pictures, with White Horse’s Nigel Sinclair producing and Guy East executive producing. Also producing is Hollywood Gang Productions’ Gianni Nunnari, Atmosphere Entertainment’s Mark Canton, and Mark Jackson. Broyles will also executive produce, along with Tony To.
Emperor will specifically follow Caesar and Brutus’ journey from boyhood pals to warriors with powerful political ambitions, presenting a credible threat to the establishment. The film is intended to kick-start a film trilogy, with the opening installment taking from Iggulden’s first two books – The Gates of Rome and The Field of Swords.
The studio is fully behind the project and are on a priority search for a director to helm their sweeping vision for this budding new franchise. Regarding the project, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger stated, “We’re looking forward to working with an incredible creative team on Emperor, a great property based on a unique and compelling series of books.
They continued, “A fresh and inventive coming-of-age story about the young Julius Caesar and Brutus set amidst the drama, intrigue and passions of ancient Rome, we believe that Emperor will be a big, crowd-pleasing motion picture event for global audiences. It marks an exciting addition to a slate already loaded with franchises, potential franchises and other star-driven tentpole films.”
Canton and Nunnari, who worked together on the historical fiction epic 300, regarded: “Combining 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 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.”
Clark Allen | Associate Editor
This news was first reported by Deadline.