Scott Rudin Buys I, Claudius Rights

Seeking DiCaprio for the lead

Scott Rudin Buys I, Claudius Rights

by Olly Richards |
Published on

The success of Gladiator didn't quite kick off the slew of Roman epics some predicted, so God love Scott Rudin for giving the genre another kick up its betoga-ed backside. Prolific producer Rudin (No Country For Old Men, The Queen) has snagged the rights to Robert Graves' enormous novel I, Claudius, for a cool $2million.

Many readers will remember that the BBC made a much celebrated mini-series out of the novel in 1976, with Derek Jacobi in the lead role as the man who rose to power over the Roman Empire, despite a limp and a stutter that got him picked on in the Coliseum playground. Rudin is hoping to grab Leonardo DiCaprio for the lead in his new version (DiCaprio was reportedly attached in a previous deal at Warner Bros). He's also hoping to persuade William Monahan (The Departed) to write the script.

Shaping I, Claudius into a movie that doesn't numb the buttocks of millions of people will be some feat. The BBC mini-series took some twelve hours to tell the story and there was not a lot of fat to be trimmed there. If the collected talents can wrestle this beast into submission, however, this could be something very special indeed.

N.B. I, Claudius is not to be confused with Up Pompeii. There's no reason why you should, but I always do and was briefly thrilled by the prospect of DiCaprio playing Frankie Howerd.

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