Roland Emmerich to Direct Gladiator-Themed Epic ‘Those About to Die’ at Peacock

·2-min read

Peacock has given a straight-to-series order to “Those About to Die,” an ancient Rome gladiator-themed epic from director Roland Emmerich.

Emmerich will also be an executive producer on the project based on the book from author Daniel Mannix. The series is being adapted by Robert Rodat (“Saving Private Ryan,” “The Patriot”), who will also executive produce.

“Those About to Die” is described by the streamer as “a large-scale drama set within the spectacular, complex and corrupt world of gladiatorial sports in ancient Rome. The series introduces an ensemble of diverse characters across the many layers of Roman society where sports, politics and business intersect and collide.”

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In his own statement, Emmerich said, “The powerful Roman Empire has always fascinated me, especially its enormous games which entertained the masses through spectacle at the monumental Colosseum. At its heart, this is a sports epic led by strong and diverse characters who explore paths to glory, falls from grace and a need to belong to something greater than oneself. Sports in these ancient times were as thrilling and massive then as they are today, and I’m excited to collaborate with my partners, Peacock, High End Productions, Hollywood Gang, and AGC Studios, in bringing this rich world of blood, sweat and tears to television.”

High End Productions has acquired distribution rights in Europe and is set to co-finance the show with Peacock.

Emmerich is executive producing through his company Centropolis Entertainment. Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari (“The Departed,” “300”) and Street Entertainment’s Harald Kloser (“2012,” “Independence Day: Resurgence”) will executive produce alongside High End’s Oliver Berben, Herbert G. Kloiber, Martin Moszkowicz and Jonas Bauer. AGC CEO Stuart Ford and chief content officer Lourdes Diaz also executive produce.

AGC International will handle worldwide distribution rights outside of the HEP European footprint.     
“‘Those About to Die’ takes on Ancient Rome in a completely new way. While the series will be epic in scope and have the spectacle of gladiators and chariot racing, it also has unexpected characters amidst palace intrigue and a dark criminal underworld,” Lisa Katz, president scripted content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said in a statement. “We jumped at the opportunity to partner with the unmatched creative minds of Roland Emmerich, Robert Rodat, Harald Kloser, AGC Studios and Gianni Nunnari’s Hollywood Gang, to create this bold, action-packed series for Peacock audiences.”

Correction: A previous version of this story listed Mannix as an executive producer. This story has been amended to clarify he is not.

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