The tug-of-war over the rights to bring Robert Graves’ 1934 novel I, Claudius to the big screen has been won — and Variety has the details.
According to the report, producer Scott Rudin has agreed to shell out $2 million for the book’s screen rights. Interestingly, the article goes on to say that Leonardo DiCaprio and William Monahan — who were part of Warner Bros.’ competing bid for the project — are expected to join Rudin’s production. No studio has been attached yet, but Variety notes that the film is “likely to land at Disney.” The synopsis, from the article:
Several studios fought for Graves’ famed book about the Roman Empire as told through the eyes of Claudius — a member of the imperial family who hid his brilliance behind a stutter and a limp but wound up outsmarting his rivals to become emperor in 41 A.D. Story ends with the crowning of Nero in 54 A.D. The book featured all the attendant backstabbing, violence and debauchery that was part and parcel of the Roman ruling class.
The book was most recently adapted by the BBC, where it was turned into a televised miniseries in 1976.