Anthony Hopkins to Play Roman Emperor in Gladiator Series ‘Those About to Die’ at Peacock

Anthony Hopkins will play Roman Emperor Vespasian in an upcoming Peacock drama series titled Those About to Die. The series is created by Roland Emmerich, director of films like Moonfall, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla (1998), and Independence Day.

Those About to Die is an epic drama set in the complex and corrupt world of spectacle-driven gladiatorial competition. The series introduces an ensemble of diverse characters from all parts of Roman society who collide at the intersection of sports, politics, and dynasties of the ancient world. The two-time Oscar winner’s role is the first casting announcement for the drama, which will broadcast on Peacock in the U.S. after giving the title a straight-to-series order.

Emperor Vespasian ruled over ancient Rome from 69 to 79 A.D. He established the Flavian bloodline, a dynasty that ruled over the empire for 27 years. In Those About to Die, Vespasian is battle tested, a rural upstart who claimed his throne after victory in a bloody 10-year civil war, Peacock described. He is aging and is despised by the Patricians jockeying for position in the Empire and looking to supplant his heirs to the throne the first chance they get.

Emmerich directs and executive produces the drama, which begins production in Rome in March at the historic Cinecittà Studios, Europe’s largest film studio and considered to be the hub of Italian cinema.

Movies such as Ben-Hur, La Dolce Vita, Cleopatra, The Godfather: Part III, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Gangs of New York all filmed at Cinecittà Studios. Hopkins shot parts of The Two Popes there with Jonathan Pryce. Before this, Hopkins largest TV roles were in Westworld and War & Peace (1972-73).

Oscar-nominated screenwriter Robert Rodach (Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot) pens the series in addition to executive producing. Additional executive producers include Harald Kloser, Gianni Nunnari, Oliver Berben, Herbert G. Kloiber, Martin Moszkowicz, Jonas Bauer, Stuart Ford, and Lourdes Diaz.

It’s produced by Centropolis Entertainment, Hollywood Gang Productions and Street Entertainment through AGC Studios and distributed by AGC International.

Those About to Die, TBA, Peacock

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