New Epic Gladiator Series Headed to Peacock From ‘Independence Day’ Director

by Tia Bailey

Director Roland Emmerich, known for “Independence Day” and “Moonfall,” directs a new series Gladiator series headed to Peacock. Robert Rodat, who wrote “Saving Private Ryan” as well as “The Patriot,” will write and executive produce the show.

“Those About to Die,” based on the nonfiction book by Daniel Mannix of the same name, is described as “a large-scale drama set within the spectacular, complex, and corrupt world of gladiatorial sports in Ancient Rome.” According to Peacock, “The series introduces an ensemble of diverse characters across the many layers of Roman society where sports, politics, and business intersect and collide.”

The straight-to-series show will be a gladiator drama, which, although familiar, is something that isn’t seen much with recent TV shows or movies. Emmerich spoke to Variety about his excitement to be on the project. “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.” Emmerich makes his TV directorial debut with this series.

Lisa Katz, president scripted content at NBCUniversal, also shared a statement about the show. She said that the show will take on the topic “in a completely new way.” She said, “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.”

Book by Daniel Maddix Picked Up by Peacock

The synopsis for the book “Those About to Die” on Wiki reads: “Thousands flocked to see gladiators, charioteers, wild animals, women and children hacked, crucified, torn to pieces, ravished, burned, and drown. Biographies, paintings, historical evidence and an author’s imagination merge to tell the story of one of history’s most ruthless exhibitions—the Roman games.”

Mannix published “Those About to Die,” or “The Way of the Gladiator,” in 1958. The book currently has a 3.9/5 star rating on the website GoodReads. The

The cast and release date aren’t available yet. However, knowing the directors, writers, and producers of the show gives viewers a look as to what it will be. Other executive producers on the show include Gianni Nunnari, Harald Kloser, Oliver Berben, Herbert G. Kloiber, Martin Martin Moszkowicz, Jonas Bauer, and Lourdes Diaz.

“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,” Emmerich said to Variety.

“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,” Katz said in her statement.