According to Deadline, Peacock has officially given a straight-to-series order to the forthcoming gladiator drama series titled Those About to Die, based on Daniel Mannix’s nonfiction book of the same name. The project will be directed by Independence Day filmmaker Roland Emmerich.
“Those About To Die takes on Ancient Rome in a completely new way,” President of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming Lisa Katz said in a statement. “While the series will be epic in scope and have the spectacle of gladiators and chariot racing, it also has unexpected characters amidst palace intrigue and a dark criminal underworld. We jumped at the opportunity to partner with the unmatched creative minds of Roland Emmerich, Robert Rodat, Harald Kloser, AGC Studios, and Gianni Nunnari’s Hollywood Gang to create this bold, action-packed series for Peacock audiences.”
Those About to Die will be executive produced by Emmerich through his Centropolis Entertainment banner and Saving Private Ryan scribe Robert Rodat, who will also be writing the screenplay. Production is expected to begin early next year in Italy.
“The series is a large-scale drama set within the spectacular, complex, and corrupt world of gladiatorial sports in Ancient Rome,” reads the synopsis. “It introduces an ensemble of diverse characters across the many layers of Roman society where sports, politics, and business intersect and collide.”
This project marks Emmerich’s first TV project in a decade since making his television directorial debut in 2012 with the Dark Horse. He is best known for directing disaster survival films, including Universal Soldier, Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, and Moonfall.
Additional executive producers are Gianni Nunnari, Harald Kloser, Herbert G. Kloiber, Oliver Berben, Martin Moszkowicz, Stuart Ford, Lourdes Diaz, and Jonas Bauer. It hails from AGC Television and Constantin Film.