Monday, September 15, 2008

I Claudius may grace the big screen

‘I, Claudius’ Movie Remake On Way

I, Claudius remains a classic television drama, with the BBC TV version of the book still maintaining its position as one of the best historical dramas ever made for British television. And the story is now being brought to the big screen by acclaimed film-maker Jim Sheridan.

Dark Horizons reports that Relativity Media has acquired rights to the film version of Robert Graves 1934 novel. The book, and consequently the television series, tells the story of how Claudius, the fourth emperor of Rome, came to take power. The novel is considered as one of the best of the twentieth century.

Claudius’ life is a good one to profile as it’s filled with plot and intrigue. Claudius was a stuttering handicapped man who was able to use his cunning an guile to become emperor of Rome between 41 and 54 A.D. The novel tells the story of his accession to the head of the Roman empire, which he took over from Caligula.

The 1976 ten-episode BBC mini-series saw a cast that included Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Brian Blessed, Patrick Stewart, and John Rhys-Davies. No start date for the new film version has been set, and no cast members are yet known. But if the movie is anywhere near as startling as the television version, this could be brilliant.

I'm not sure about this. I'm glad that there has been such a resurgence in movies about the world of Rome and Greece over the past 10 years (e.g. Gladiator, Troy, Alexander, etc.), but I'm not sure if this can be pulled off for logistic reasons. First of all, the series "I, Claudius" is a combination of two novels, "I, Claudius" and "Claudius the God" both by Robert Graves. And how can you possibly condense a 13 hour miniseries into a two or even three hour movie. Unless they divide it into a trilogy or something. Who knows? But, again, this is just speculative at this point. We'll see what happens.

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