According to Deadline, Game of Thrones alum Iwan Rheon has been tapped for the role of ambitious crime boss Tenax in Peacock’s upcoming gladiator drama from director Roland Emmerich. Marco Polo actor Lorenzo Richelmy was originally cast for the Rheon’s role before he exited the project due to scheduling conflicts.
In addition to Rheon, Liraz Charhi (Tehran), Johannes Haukur Johannesson (Vikings: Valhalla), Rupert Penry-Jones (Spooks), Eneko Sagardoy (Giant, Elite), Pepe Barroso (45 rpm), Gonçalo Almeida (Esperança), Kyshan Wilson (Viola), and Alicia Edogamhe (Summertime) have also been cast to star opposite Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins, who had signed on to play a Roman Emperor named Vespasian. Production is currently underway in Rome.
Those About to Die is executive produced and directed by Emmerich through his Centropolis Entertainment banner and Saving Private Ryan scribe Robert Rodat, who wrote be writing the screenplay based on Daniel Mannix’s nonfiction book of the same name. In addition to Hopkins, the series will also feature Tom Hughes as Titus Flavianus, Sara Martins as Cala, Jojo Macari as Domitian, Gabriella Pession as Antonia, Dimitri Leonidas as Scorpus, and Moe Hashim as Kwame.
“It is an epic drama set in the complex and corrupt world of spectacle-driven gladiatorial competition,” reads the synopsis. “The series introduces an ensemble of diverse characters from all parts of Roman society who collide at the intersection of sports, politics and dynasties of the ancient world.”
Those About to Die marks Emmerich’s first TV project in a decade since making his television directorial debut in 2012 with Dark Horse. He is best known for directing disaster survival films like 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 is a production by AGC Studios, with Centropolis Entertainment, Hollywood Gang Productions and Street Entertainment producing.