Ridley Scott Heads For Pompeii

TV miniseries to be based on novel

Ridley Scott Heads For Pompeii

by Owen Williams |
Published on

With Roman Polanski's film of Robert Harris' The Ghost just released, it's easy to forget that the pair were closely collaborating a couple of years ago on another Harris novel, Pompeii. That project collapsed in the shadow of the writer's strike, but now returns, transmogrified as a four-hour TV miniseries, with Ridley Scott as producer.

The novel's story involves political shenanigans around Pompeii's water supply (weirdly not unlike Polanski's Chinatown), as well as functioning as a taut thriller, with the threat of the eruption of Vesuvius ever present. There's also a decent love interest, and there were rumours at the time that Polanski was considering Orlando Bloom and Scarlett Johansson for the leads.

It's not clear whether the Polanski-less new version is a refit of the abandoned Pompeii, or a complete start-over. Scott, via his Scott Free production company, will oversee Pompeii for Sony Pictures Television. His company line is that "The creation of worlds - specifically those historical worlds which continue to capture the popular imagination - is what we love to do and do best. Pompeii is a strong and compelling character drama set against a backdrop of a flourishing but ultimately doomed civilization - exactly what makes great event television."

Sounds like it could be great, but we're still a little disappointed not to see Pompeii on the big-screen (even if the basic set up - romantic thriller against the backdrop of true historical disaster - does rather lend itself to the Titanic treatment). What say you?

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