Those About To Die | Roland Emmerich’s gladiatorial TV series will stream in July

Those About To Die
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Independence Day and Moonfall director Roland Emmerich heads to ancient Rome for the TV series, Those About To Die. Here’s a trailer and some other things.

Whether he makes sci-fi disaster films or somewhat more grounded dramas, writer-director-producer Roland Emmerich’s work is seldom dull. For a recent example, just take a look at Moonfall.

Emmerich is heading to ancient Rome for his latest opus – the 10-part TV series Those About To Die. It’s based on the book by Daniel P Mannix, and is all about the scheming and political intrigue that goes into the staging of gladiatorial contests. It’s probably no coincidence that the series will stream in July – a matter of months before Ridley Scott’s much-anticipated Gladiator 2 emerges in November.

Anthony Hopkins leads the ensemble cast, and stars as Emperor Vespasian (who ruled over the Roman empire for 27 years, history fans). You’ll also find Dimitri Leonidas as Flavius Scorpus (who was a famous charioteer according to the Wikipedia page we just found), Jojo Macari, Gabriella Pession, Sara Martins-Court and Rupert Penry-Jones.

Those About To Die takes on Ancient Rome in a completely new way,” NBCUniversal boss Lisa Katz enthused when the series was announced in 2022. “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.”

Those About To Die will stream on Peacock in the US, and to mark the announcement of its premiere, the platform’s released a very brief teaser. Fittingly, its CGI-embellished shots of posing actors looks uncannily like those little intro clips you get of musclebound combatants in TV’s Gladiators. This may even be intentional.

Peacock’s feathers have been ruffled by a few financial problems of late – there have been rumours that it might merge with Paramount+ – so what platform it’ll end up on in the UK is currently unclear. We’ll let you know as we learn more, though – if Those About To Die is anything like Emmerich’s other historical drama work, it’s likely to be gloriously entertaining.

Those About To Die will stream from the 18th July in the US.

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