Rome. Now there was a television series! HBO knocked it out of the ballpark with its lavish take on ancient Rome in those crazy days of the ascendancy of Julius Caesar, the battles between Mark Antony and Octavian, the man who would be Augustus during the glory days of Rome.
All of this was told using two fictional characters, Lucius Vorenus, Kevin McKidd and Titus Pullo, Ray Stevenson. Brothers in arms in the Roman Legion, their stories were woven into the storylines as they became witnesses to history.
The cast included Cirian Hinds, James Purefoy, Lindsay Duncan and Max Pirkis turning in a chilling performance as a steely young Octavian.
It had it all! War, sex, gore, political intrigue! There was a punk, funky Cleopatra. Not to mention an unusual number of shots of that taboo of taboos in film, the penis. So many that an article was written about the difficulty the cinematographer had in filming the phallus or would that be phalli?
But Rome didn’t just succeed by breaking some taboos. Rome was one of the best series HBO produced with great scripts and lavish sets. Sets that HBO had destroyed when they foolishly balked at the cost of the series and prematurely killed it.
Instead of letting the series run for its allotted five years they got cold feet because of the expense and canceled it in year two. Now instead of the glories of Rome on Sundays, we have True Blood. No comment.
HBO now says they realize they were hasty in canceling Rome. That’s nice but it doesn’t change the fact that all that great history went to waste. Think of how all those emperors would feel to know HBO left them to languish in history books instead of giving them some screen time.
But now there’s a glimmer of hope. A reason for Rome fans to take heart. The word is that Bruno Heller, who is the creator of Rome wants to wrap things up in a feature film version of the series.
When last we left Rome, Vorenus was dead, but Heller sees a way out of that little dilemma saying that we never saw his body on the pyre. Could this mean there could be a resurrection?
If Sex and the City could be revived in all its cotton candy designer clothes empty headed glory, then come on people, let’s give Rome a chance on the big screen.
If not, then all I can say is et tu HBO?
Source: Hollywood Reporter