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Peacock commissions gladiatorial TV epic helmed by Independence Day’s Emmerich

NBCU-owned streamer Peacock has handed a straight-to-series order to Those About to Die, a gladiatorial epic helmed by German filmmaker Roland Emmerich.

Roland Emmerich (photo: Dick Thomas Johnson via CC)

The project is co-commissioned and co-financed by Peacock and High End Productions, a studio established by Herbert G Kloiber and Constantin Film to produce Euro fiction series for the international marketplace.

Based on a non-fiction book of the same name by author Daniel Mannix, the adaptation will be written by Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot). Set in ancient Rome, the drama takes place in the corrupt world of gladiatorial sports.

It is the first TV show created by Emmerich, whose film credits include Moonfall, Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow.

Emmerich is executive producing through his company Centropolis Entertainment. Also serving as executive producers are: Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari; Street Entertainment’s Harald Kloser; High End’s Oliver Berben, Martin Moszkowicz, Jonas Bauer and Kloiber; and AGC Television’s Stuart Ford and Lourdes Diaz.

AGC International, the content licensing and distribution arm of US-based AGC Studios and sister company to AGC Television, is handling worldwide distribution outside of Europe, where High End Productions has acquired distribution rights.

“Those About to Die takes on Ancient Rome in a completely new way,” said Lisa Katz, president scripted content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming.

“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.”

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