How Very Witty of Them
Gianni Nunnari (Producer of 300 and Alexander) and Mark Canton (producer of 300 and the upcoming Xerxes, Immortals, and most importantly Piranha 3D) are out to prove that they have a shared sandal fetish by getting behind an adaptation of the Conn Iggulden series Emperor, which follows the life of Julius Caesar from wee training-toga and velcro sandals until Brutus ceremoniously carves him at the first Thanksgiving when they can’t find a turkey (Antony was hiding it, it was on the other side of Greece all along!).
The series has five novels so far: The Gates of Rome, The Death of Kings, The Field of Swords, The Gods of War, and according to Wikipedia, the deliciously titled Untitled fifth book (TBA). As a complete aside, does it strike anyone else as an odd coincidence that the second and third novels of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire are named A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords?
The Sunday Times pointed out that “If you liked Gladiator you’ll love Emperor.” I’m just not sure how to parse that faint praise. Gladiator was certainly entertaining, it had skinny Robin Hood and that crazy white rapper who’s not Eminem, so it couldn’t really go wrong. On the other hand, it had that perfect level of historical silliness such that it would have been equally inaccurate if they’d set it anywhere from about 300 B.C. to 300 A.D. There were togas, sandals, and a coliseum, which while representing 3/4 of the Roman historical legacy to popular American consciousness, completely leaves out the most important contribution: orgies.
In any case, the adaptation of Emperor is gaining steam and will undoubtedly feature all manner of fast cuts and slow motion. If it’s successful, they plan on making it a trilogy, because of course they do. A great deal of human endeavours can be explained by the simple and universal psychology that one thing can be good, two is subpar, three can be epic, and anything more than that is just silly. It applies to absolutely everything, or your money back.
That leaves a very simple question though: given the extraordinary resonance of the television series “Rome” with contemporary politics, how exactly do they propose to make an unrelated film franchise relevant whilst covering most of the same events?