The renaissance of the swords and sandals epic continues with the news that Hollywood plans to bring the daddy of all Roman generals, Julius Caesar, to the big screen, Deadline reports.
South African Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles) will direct for Warner Bros, working from a screenplay by Chris Boal, author of an acclaimed play about Caesar entitled 23 Knives. The studio is planning a sweeping drama that begins with the young general’s departure to Spain to take up a governorship and ends with him triumphant as undisputed leader of the Roman empire following his defeat of rival Pompey.
The film does not venture into the second half of Caesar’s life, in which he brought Egypt and parts of the Middle East under his control; those events will presumably be dealt with in a sequel.
Like its subject, Warner’s project may have to contend with rivals if it is to emerge victorious. Another Caesar film is reportedly in the pipeline, based on a quartet of novels on the dictator’s early life by British writer Conn Iggulden. Recent history suggests that the battle will be fierce, as Baz Luhrmann discovered when his planned Alexander the Great biopic was beaten to the chase by Oliver Stone’s version seven years ago.
Otherwise I shall have to hit my head against this wall a few times.