Peacock, AGC strike series order on Roland Emmerich's Those About to Die

A production start is earmarked for the first quarter of 2023 at the storied Cinecittà studios in Rome

By Jeremy Kay 27 Jul 2022

Peacock, AGC strike series order on Roland Emmerich's Those About to Die

Peacock and AGC Television have struck a straight-to-series US deal for Roland Emmerich’s upcoming Ancient Rome gladiatorial epic Those About To Die.

High End Productions, the company set up by Herbert G. Kloiber and Constantin Film to produce premium European fiction series for the international market, has acquired rights in Europe and will co-finance the show with Peacock.

[Sister site] Screendaily was the first to report in Cannes on an upcoming AGC-Emmerich collaboration and understands the budget is around $140m, making Those About To Die one of the most expensive independently financed first TV seasons.

A production start is earmarked for the first quarter of 2023 at the storied Cinecittà studios in Rome.

Emmerich will direct and serve as executive producer through his Centropolis Entertainment. Robert Rodat will adapt the screenplay and serve as executive producer. The series is inspired by Daniel Mannix’s non-fiction book of the same name and is described as a large-scale drama set against the spectacular, complex and corrupt world of gladiatorial sports where an ensemble of characters from many walks of life collide.

Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari and Street Entertainment’s Harald Kloser are also on board as executive producers alongside High End’s Oliver Berben, Kloiber, Martin Moszkowicz, Jonas Bauer, AGC CEO Stuart Ford and chief creative officer Lourdes Diaz.

AGC Television sister arm AGC International will handle worldwide sales outside the High End Productions European footprint and it is understood broadcast partnerships are expected to come together for Latin America, Asia and Middle East.

Those About To Die takes on Ancient Rome in a completely new way. 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,” said Lisa Katz, president of scripted content, NBCUniversal television and streaming.

“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.”

HEP’s Oliver Berben and Herbert G. Kloiber added, “The first TV show created by Roland Emmerich with an exceptional story and a perspective never seen before – that’s exactly why we founded High End Productions: a European story that can be seen around the world.”

Emmerich said, “The powerful Roman Empire has always fascinated me, especially its enormous games which entertained the masses through spectacle at the monumental Colosseum. At its heart, this is a sports epic led by strong and diverse characters who explore paths to glory, falls from grace and a need to belong to something greater than oneself.

“Sports in these ancient times were as thrilling and massive then as they are today, and I’m excited to collaborate with my partners, Peacock, High End Productions, Hollywood Gang, and AGC Studios, in bringing this rich world of blood, sweat and tears to television.”

This article originally appeared on our sister sire, Screendaily.

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