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HBO's Rome Finally Heading to the Big Screen as a Sequel?

by
March 4, 2010

HBO's Rome

Sometimes even the newest news is simply old news. Such is that case with recent "discovery" from EW's Hollywood Insider that HBO's epic series Rome officially has a movie adaptation in the works. This was talked about almost exactly a year ago when MovieWeb spoke to series regular Ray Stevenson about the big screen potential. "It is no longer a smoke and mirrors rumor. The script is in full development," he said, but of course, knowing full well how long it can take to get something like this going, Stevenson also added, "We shall see." The movie is supposed to pick up in Germany four years after the series ended. Read on!

EW doesn't have any other new groundbreaking details, but they do say Bruno Heller (creator/executive producer) finished a script for Morning Light Productions, but they still have to find a director and a studio because HBO Films is not involved at all (which seems a bit odd). The hope is that original cast members like Kevin McKidd will return, and Stevenson's knowledge on the production over a year ago makes it seem like he would eventually be on board, too. Otherwise, why would anyone bother to keep him posted?

Rome aired from 2005 to 2007 and took place in Ancient Rome, beginning with Caesar’s invasion of Gaul and continuing with the rise of the first Emperor Augustus. It centered on soldiers Pullo (Stevenson) and Vorenus (McKidd), who [SPOILER] appear to die at the end of the series. Obviously being open-ended, it seems easy to bring these characters back in the form of an epic new movie, but is the audience big enough to warrant a theatrical release or should this be a big budget straight-to-DVD sequel to appease the fans?

Personally, I've never been a fan of movies that make the jump from TV to big screen and require that you know the extended back story to fully enjoy it. I've heard Rome is pretty good, I just haven't had the chance to see it. And it's frustrating for people who, like me, haven't watched the show who don't get little tidbits, inside jokes or understand the characters and their relationships. On the other side, it's just as frustrating for fans of the series because the film has to be accessible to an entire audience that hasn't seen any of it. Just doesn't seem like a win for either side, but that's my opinion. Any Rome fans care to weigh in?

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  • nelson
    i thought Serenity was great and never watched Firefly
  • Janny
    serenity did do a good job letting giving some of the back story even though it wasn't 100% canon with firefly First off the series started with the tail end of Ceasers invasion of Gaul and Pullo never appeared to die. if they can somehow bring what they did in season 1 to the big screen or even straight to DVD it would be epic. But augustus ruled for a few decades so I don't see how a sequel would have any of the drama and extendend political plotlines the first one did.
  • history repeats
    rome was great!
  • Nomad
    THIRTEEN!!! You haven't yet see Rome??? Get to it, man! The film will be fantastic with Bruno Heller seeing it to the screen. Rome has fans from all over the world. If you don't believe it, look at the membership here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=97645771496&ref=ts
  • Dave Lister, JMC
    Great. Now someone get Milch off his ass; and make him finish the Deadwood saga.
  • Ken
    I really hope this happens. I think my favorite episode was when Vorenus jumped into the pit with Pullo screaming THIRTEEN! Then Vorenus shoves the club down the giant's neck haha
  • Ken
    #5 I totally agree, what ever happened to that movie they were supposed to end it with?
  • filmfan111
    This news has been around forever. It will be great if they can bring back the same actors. Or make Rome season 3/4/5 would be nice too. ROME is/was great. And more ROME would be great.
  • ctSF
    Rome was amazing. Never should have been cancelled.
  • Goliad
    you need to rent the entire series and watch it over a weekend and stay with it. there is a gladiator scene one of the later episodes that is outstanding.. the thing about ROME was that it appeared to all (except an expert) to be incredibly period correct. I was devastated when they cancelled ROME cause HBO had just canceled john from cincinatti and Deadwood also. HBO has been a void ever since with entourage and Hung struggling to capture an audience. I would give up the move for another 2 seasons on HBO.
  • Nomad
    John of Cincinnati is what replaced Rome, a sorry replacement, indeed. John of Cincinnati was later cancelled. HBO recently re-designed their website and there is NOT ONE mention of Rome. It's as if it never happened. They have a NEW service whereby you can stream all of their serieses and movies but, again, Rome is not among them. What are they ashamed of? It can't be the series itself, which was likely the best ever on television. Ergo, their shame must derive from how badly they mis-handled the series. A pox on their house!
  • bparis
    I think I might re-watch the series in it's entirety again this month. This series was truly great. Every episode had the production value of a movie (I think that's what killed it too, the $$). The cast was top notch and the direction fabulous. I'm a bit doubtful on a full movie production, but it is much welcomed!
  • Karl
    agree with everything said so far - Rome rocked, Deadwood needs to be finished. HBO is in need of another series with more interesting subject matter. favorite scene after gladiator sequence; Pullo sicking fist dagger through the underside of a mans chin who cheated him gambling.
  • Hoff
    Seriosuly, you haven't seen Rome? One of the greatest series I've ever seen. And #12 is dead on - movie quality, but it cost a lot of money ($100 million or so).
  • adrian
    THIRTEEEEEEEEEN!!!! Rome was awesome, awesome, AWESOME. it's my favorite series and i wanted a season 3 for such a long time. i recomend for all to see this, it's epic and ..amazing. But what troubles me is that HBO won;t be involved. I think the series had a huge budget and amazing casting. Ray Stevenson gave his best and i was so pissed off seeing him in The Punisher, that actor has huge potential, worthy of greater movies. It brings me joy to hear a movie will be made, but if it's not HBO and not the original cast, i have little faith, i'll see it on DVD to be honest. And again, SEE the series. You will become a fan :)
  • adrian
    double post but what the hell, yes #12 is right, the budget killed it. Not enough HBO subscribers? :)) or the show too expensive for other TV stations... what remains a FACT is that (i'll repeat my self here) it's one of the best series, every episode is well directed and played, this show did not "jumped the shark" at any moment, that's why i was very sad when i heard there ain;t going to be a season 3. Hell i think i'm going to get some popcorn, pop in my blueray and see this masterpiece again over the week.
  • KYAGB
    For anyone who cares on the matter ... Rome is the prequel period piece to a little BBC series based on the Robert Graves novel by the name of I, Claudius. Who ever is involved with Rome the movie will have to rehash the work laid out with the preexisting I, Claudius which would be quite a challenge. Who really wants to be a Fresh tomato in sloppy seconds
  • niraj
    I saw the first episode of the series yesterday and I was very disappointed. I found the script to be weak and the acting third-rate. But judging by the comments above that it is one of the "best series ever", I will give all 22-episodes my full attention. I agree with KYAGB, the best television epic about Rome is I, Claudius. Still the gold standard, I think.
    • Paul
      After Rome I started I, Claudius, to get my fix. I love theater, but Rome was so much more enjoyable for me. After the second time through Rome I watched with director's commentary, and clicked through all the extras. I feel like I earned a minor in Roman history.
  • jeffrey
    Loved ROME!!!
  • Clover
    #5 BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ROME was quite a treat and would welcome another chapter
  • JMoney
    13th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and Pullo is alive and well at the end of the series
  • JMoney
    Nomad, with what you've said and the fact the blogger mentions HBO not being involved, maybe they have sold all their rights for the series?
  • Nomad
    JMoney, I hadn't considered that. It certainly is a more charitable explanation (for HBO) than my own. KYAGB, I don't understand that Rome is a prequel to I, Claudius. Other than both programs taking place in ancient Rome, the events are separated by 70 years or more and share no characters. You might as well say that Dr. Zivago is a sequel to War and Peace. I recently screened I, Claudius. No one can deny that the acting was supurb, but the production values are very poor and the series doesn't hold up, in my view. Nonetheless, it's worth watching.
  • KYAGB
    They don't share characters. O'really?
  • Corran Horn
    Like nearly everyone else here, I loved ROME. In fact, I had just fininshed watching it via Netflix this past weekend. Stevenson and McKidd were excellent together, and Polly Walker, James Purefoy, and Ciaran Hinds were also impressive. One question: was the boy who played the younger Octavian the same kid from Master and Commander? Ethan: As others have suggested, I would go and rent both seasons. You'll thank us for it. BTW, it wasn't Titus Pullo who appeared to die, it was Vorenus (and I'm not entirely sold on that either).
  • Nomad
    @ KYAGB...oops! I'm clearly Atia-, Vorenus- and Pullo-centric. 😉 @ Corran Horn...Vorenus definitely lives! Bruno Heller says so, and that's good enough for me. Watch Kevin McKidd on that topic, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJykpzPnL5k&feature=channel_page Also, yes, Max Pirkis was the boy in Master and Commander.
  • Demtor
    Rome was such a great effort for an HBO series. Sure the battle scenes weren't exactly... epic, or on par with movie quality standards, but the characters really made that series. Great cast and good writing made for a fresh look at Roman life. I hope the movie does well. I'd love to see the series make another season or get a new start with different plots from that era. Plenty of dark stories to be retold in dramatic fashion.
  • Ang
    I was bitterly disappointed that Rome ended after only two seasons. I would be thrilled if they made a movie out of it!
  • Ang
    PS - I ditched HBO after they got rid of Rome and Deadwood. Also noticed there's no mention of Rome on their site. I was looking for who played Caesar and what other things he might have done. He was a great Caesar!
    • Ian
      I know I'm really late commenting here but as a HUGE HUGE fan of the show, I have to agree with you Ang - Ciaran Hinds (who played the part of Julius Caesar) was AMAZING!! I have NEVER seen anyone portray Julius Caesar so well. I was blown away. He is truly a great actor. As well, if you want to find more info on the show, here's a link for you http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0384766/
  • ROME was awesome. I can't quite see how an official sequel would work without Kevin McKidd, though... his character was the soul of the show, but Ray Stevenson was it's beating heart. Together, their character arcs really made it something to follow. The larger-world political machinations of Ancient Rome - Caesar, Mark Antony, Cleopatra (who was played with incredibly sexy danger by Lyndsey Marshal), and all that surrounding intrigue sometimes took a backseat to what was happening with Pullo and Vorenus, which was all for the better. A prequel might be better - when Caesar is assassinated (and I don't think that's much of a spoiler - I mean, if you don't know the story of Julius Caesar, you're probably not reading the article this comment is attached to), the series lost the truly great Ciaran Hinds... he'll be hard to replace. What Rome did best was condense a whole lot of complicated history. It handled the passage of time extremely smoothly - as compared to LOST, which was running at the same time and felt clunky and scattered by comparison. Anyway. I'd love to see a big-screen Rome, and revisit that world.
    • I'm a HUGE Rome fan and I actually think a movie version set four years later is a waste of time for the same reason Rome was good to begin with - historical context.  Simply put, there is nothing 1/2 as interesting as the span of time in Roman history that the TV series follows happening four years later.  Rome basically goes through a 50 year period of peace under Augustus, so any story arc involving the original characters is going to lack political intrigue of the original series, especially when set in Germania.  I think that the people proposing this movie know that too; this will be a lame cash grab sequel like X-Files.  Better if HBO jumped ahead in Roman history with fresh characters and covered Nero and the year of 4 emperors.
  • charles murphy
    hbo rome series was excellent, and alot of your comments are right, if they picked up were they left off all the people who have not seen rome would be lost, maybe if the aired rome on tv both series and then released the movie they would make alot of money
  • marcus
    Rome was the best HBO series I've ever watched, and the best television drama I've ever seen by far! If and when the movie does come out I'll be the first in line the opening day. Loved it!
  • bob@bob.com
    A great series... not surprising though that they pulled it. It didn't appeal to the masses... they want a good triumph with midgets and giraffes instead. Anyhow, sad about it being made into a movie. Hollywood still hasn't realised that people want TV series instead of movies. A good TV series is like a longterm relationship - where-as a movie (at best) is like an amazing one-night-f#ck. Don't get your hopes up with the movie, even in 3D it won't compare with the TV series.
  • Skidog
    Rome was awesome. Just watched it with a friend and we both loved it. Give us more! I'm a history buff and it obviously wasn't all true but very entertaining.
  • Bring back the entire cast!! Including Antony, Cleopatra - hell even the young Octavian. Great series. And I agree with #5 and #7, finish Deadwood. Favorite line from Deadwood. "how stupid do you think I am?" "Don't know, just met cha." Classic.
  • Omarafaruck
    bring back the series
  • Amelio41
    love rome
  • Danny22agin
    Rome is awesome and there should be a continuation of some sort either that being a new season or movie.
  • Trva
    Terrific television! Hope they continue the saga of Rome.
  • Your Mother
    A year plus since this article. Time to announce a movie, or an HBO movie. Either way, it's a good thing.
  • Romilmanuel
    Just bring it back please.Bring iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.
  • Ada
    Can't wait for the movie, hope that Vorenus will be First Spear again.
  • Diamondsarge
    Why would you think yourself qualified to write on this topic if you haven't even seen the series????   Don't be lazy!!  Treat yourself right, pop some corn and plop yourself down on your couch for the weekend!
  • Cdzlaptop
    The little tidbits and inside jokes are easy to get if you are familiar with that period of history. That was part of the attraction of the series.
  • Tomdbmb
    I can not believe the stupidity of the generation I live in. I’m a only 17 years old but I found the history/drama of the rise and fall of the republic in this astounding show beyond compelling.and intrigued me from the very first episode. I know for a fact that the reports do not show true ratings as I watched all of the episodes on my EVO 4G. If people were actually looking for an intelligent plotline and a great cast of wonderful actors then this show would be through the roof. But instead modern society moves towards mindless drabble such as jersey shore and other unintelligible fake people making a quick buck for being so stupid beyond comprehension that people find it interesting and idolize these pitiful excuses for human beings. Sorry for ranting on like a pissed off teenager but that’s exactly what I am after hbo canceled a great series. Anyone who appreciates the complexity and ingeniously crafted play “Julius Caesar” by Shakespeare would absolutely love the series. Not exactly the same but very intriguing to compare these two great works of art nonetheless. Anyways this could be a great movie or a bust as octavian, or Augustus which means "the revered one" a title granted to him by the senate of Rome, ruled for quite awhile and might not be able to make it to the fall of Rome which would wrap it up very nicely
  • Webbatronprime
    I loved both series and was gutted that season 3 didn't go ahead. I would still go and see the film however it went out. It was the main characters that made it.
  • Kenfol
    ROME....the best and badddesstttttt TV series I've ever seen. I watched it 3 times already and can't get enough off it. Good story, script, actors, set....everything so excellent! TOO BAD HBO CANCELLED IT!  For those who hasn't watched it....you're missing the best TV watching experience of your life! HOPEFULLY, HBO WILL HAVE THE SENSE TO BRING IT BACK BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY STORIES THAT CAN BE MINED FROM ROME'S HISTORY.
  • Jebbs
    It was a shame that there multi million dollar set burnt down i would have loved to see more seasons
  • george
    ROME Never has there been a series like this one (ie anthony , im not getting out of bed before i get a fuck BRILL fell on the floor laughing ) Must say that to the wife sometime !
  • I'm another one of the cazillions of people who want to see the HBO Rome series back on our tellys. If this is what the public wants, why did HBO can it?  Too expensive?  We don't pay enough for our cable to deserve good quality programming?  Obviously, there is a big demand for ancient roman historical dramas - let's fight to get what we want.
  • Tamer
    a great show i hope they change their mind and make the next season . by the way Ancient Egyptians never spoke arabic
  • MasterjedIgeoff
    Alright. Rome rocks. Same as sparticus on show time. I have not givin the western show a chance. I wish this Nealson guy will watch more then abc,CBS,NBC,tbs,fox!!!!! We pay for cable. why can we not whatch the shows we want. I would stab the tyyrent in the back like a senitor. HOME box office my ass! Bring the home back to cable!!!
  • Mmorales04
    I love ROME and hope for an ending!
  • Bad writing ftw
    The author of this article is a complete moron. Frustrated bc he has not seen the series and the movie might suffer for him bc of it? Watch the series before you watch the movie or just don't watch the movie genius.
  • Carli-Wanda Prince
    i absolutely loved this show only discovered it this year my boyfriend and i love history. we hated the romans but after this i think i've developed a understanding and compassion. i love the fact the acting is all real and raw acting no cgi that i can see it really give you a feel of being back in rome during the empire. sorry i'm from south african thats why i'm late at seeing the cool stuff. lol i cant wait to see if they actually will make this movie with the same if not better feel than the series
  • Darren
    Great show. Terrible decision to cancel it. A movie is better than nothing I suppose.
  • they need to make a new series in the same vein. Carthage, Egypt, Babylon/sumeria any other empire in the history of the world (and history is long) would do. Rome again with other emperors (nero, claudius, any emperor of note). The rise of charlemaign and the holy roman empire...it would be good to see more historical fiction. I am glad, however, that they did not go with the original direction for Rome. I would not like to see them bring fiction (Jesus) into a non-fiction/fiction historical setting.
  • rain848
    I'm almost done with the 2nd season and I WANT MORE ROME!!!! What a fantastic series. I can't get enough...MORE MORE!! I rented it through Netflix and it seems like forever to get the next disc. IF you haven't seem it, get it..You WILL be hooked after the 1st show.

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