HOLLYWOOD – HBO are considering reviving the critically lauded sword and sandals show Rome which was cancelled after only two seasons in 2008, following high costs and low viewing figures.
The drama – which featured the adventures of two demobbed centurions Lucius and Titus, trying to make a life for themselves in the Italian capital as the giants of Ancient history such as Pompey and Julius Caesar manoeuvre among themselves. Bruno Heller – the creator along with John Milius and William J. MacDonald – spoke exclusively to the Studio Exec about the new version:
The thing is we were hampered by the fact that it was so expensive. And that meant that everything we did was second guessed, the BBC were involved and RAI, and when the viewing figures weren’t as good as they could have been we got it in the neck. We didn’t have the time, the way Breaking Bad did for instance, to really develop into what we wanted to be.
So how have you solved those problems?
Essentially we’ve cut costs drastically by bringing it up to date.
What to the Middle Ages?
No. Right now. This means, instead of having all these massive sets and costumes, we can just shoot in Rome now as it is.
Oh. And the story?
Instead of two centurions returning from Gaul, we have two ex-Caribinieri working as limousine drivers driving for Italian politicians.
Ah. But what about the debauchery? The violence?
You obviously haven’t been reading the newspapers. At least not the Italian ones. If anything with the Bunga Bunga parties and everything this is going to be our most depraved season yet. Tony Servillo is going to play Silvio Berlusconi.
Season 3 of Rome starts on HBO in the Fall.