I was introduced to the Borgias the same way I was introduced to homoerotic undertones: through The Hardy Boys Casefiles. Yes, casefile #13: The Borgia Dagger.
The Wikipedia entry for the historical Borgias family describes them as having “been accused of many different crimes, generally on considerable evidence, including adultery, simony, theft, rape, bribery, incest, and murder.” [Shakes head]. Simony though, can you believe it? This bloke here raped seventeen people, including his sister, killed another fifteen, looted their bodies and then paid off the cops. But it’s the simony that really puts it over the top. Oh, and one of them managed to become Pope in the 15th century. Now that’s a Pope.
I don’t think there’s any question that list makes them perfect material for a pay-cable historical series in the vein of Rome and a half dozen others. And really, is there anyone you can think of who’d make a better patriarch to this family than old Humbert Humbert himself, Jeremy Irons? Trailer below, and it looks fantastic.
“The Borgias” has begun filming under show runner Neil Jordan and will air sometime in 2011 on Showtime.