I, Claudius the film
I, Claudius was a novel you know, not just the BBC 1976 television series starring Derek Jacobi, John Hurt, Brian Blessed, Ian Ogilvy, Kevin McNally, Patrick Stewart, John Rhys-Davies and so on, it was a novel before that.
Now the novel (Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk) from Robert Graves is to be adapted into a film version, and the talent behind it already has me interested. For a start William Monahan may well be writing the script, and considering what he did with The Departed (Filmstalker review), this is a good sign indeed.
According to the Variety article Leonardo DiCaprio and William Monahan were part of a rival bid from Warner Brothers for the project, but now that Scott Rudin has bought it, and is probably headed to Disney and Miramax with it, these two names are expected to head right along with it.
I'm not entirely sure why Variety thinks this, but they indicate that Leonardo DiCaprio has been working with Scott Rudin and neither of the two talents have deals in place at the moment.
The story is really about Rome itself and the corruption, politics and general debauchery that was a part of its society. However the main plot is of Claudius and his rise to power. Claudius was a member of the imperial family and behind his outward manner of a limp and a stutter, he had a brilliant mind that allowed him to outwit his rivals and rule Rome.
It would be a brilliant tale to be retold on the big screen, and with the recent successes from the Rome television series, it's fair to say that the appetite is right for the film. Mind you it would be fair to say that the appetite is always there for this amount of scheming, backstabbing, evil and plotting in any film!
Nowadays I would love to see DiCaprio in this film, perhaps a few performances ago I would have said no, but he's really showing his acting might these days and it's a great role for him. Plus the writing talents of Monahan would ensure a great adaptation.