Amazon Prime Gets Into the Arena With Roland Emmerich’s Gladiator Series ‘Those About to Die’

Amazon Prime Gets Into the Arena With Roland Emmerich’s Gladiator Series ‘Those About to Die’

Amazon Prime has given Roland Emmerich’s Those About To Die the thumbs up, taking rights to the upcoming gladiator action series across most of Europe. Anthony Hopkins stars as Roman emperor Vespasian in the 10-part series, inspired by the nonfiction book of the same name by Daniel P. Mannix.

Amazon picked up exclusive rights to Those About To Die for its services in the five largest territories in Europe (Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain) as well as in Portugal, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, Turkey, Andorra, Monaco, Luxembourg, and Belgium. Amazon will have exclusive rights for the show in those territories, with free-TV rights negotiated separately. Servus TV has secured the free TV window for Austria for the show, which will go out on Peacock in the U.S.. NBCUniversal’s streaming platform gave a straight-to-series order for the show.

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Oscar-nominated screenwriter Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan) adapted Mannix’s book for the screen. Emmerich and Marco Kreuzpaintner (Amazon series Beat) are directing individual episodes. Emmerich, Rodat and Kreuzpainter are all executive producers on the show.

The Amazon deal was announced Wednesday by High End Productions, the distribution and financing joint venture between Herbert G. Kloiber and Constantin Film that co-commissioned the series together with Peacock. High End co-financed the series alongside Stuart Ford’s AGC International, with High End taking European distribution rights and remaining worldwide rights controlled by AGC which is acting as studio under its AGC Television banner. Centropolis Entertainment, Hollywood Gang Productions and Street Entertainment are producing.

The 10-episode Those About To Die is set in the complex and corrupt world of chariot racing and gladiatorial fights in ancient Rome. Alongside Hopkins, the ensemble cast includes Game of Thrones star Iwan Rheon, Vikings actor Johannes Haukur Johannesson, Tehran actress Liraz Charhi, Britain’s Rupert Penry-Jones (MI-5), Elite actor Eneko Sagardoy, Tom Hughes (The English), Sara Martins (Death in Paradise), Gabriella Pession (Crossing Lines), Alicia Edogamhe (Summertime), Jojo Macari (Sex Education), Dimitri Leonidas (Rosewater), Moe Hashim (Ted Lasso), Gonçalo Almeida (Amor Amor), Kyshan Wilson (Viola) and Pepe Barroso (Neill Blomkamp’s upcoming Gran Turismo).

Also credited as executive producers on the series are Street Entertainment’s Harald Kloser, Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari, High End’s Kloiber, Martin Moszkowicz, Oliver Berben and Jonas Bauer, AGC’s Ford and Chief Creative Officer Lourdes Diaz and Charles Holland.