I, Claudius returns to the small screen

From Deadline – HBO and BBC 2 are bringing I, Claudius back to the small screen. Last seen in 1976, as a 13 part BBC miniseries starring the fantastic Derek Jacobi, this new miniseries adaptation has a lot to live up to – but in its corner are BBC Worldwide Productions’ Jane Tranter and Anne Thomopoulos, and it’s not their first time around the arena (the duo were also executives producers on HBO’s Rome).

I, Claudius follows Claudius, a man who hides his intelligence behind a stutter, limp, and tendency to drool so as to survive the deadly politics of Rome, at a time when murders and poisonings were the norm. Claudius not only remained among the living, he ultimately became Emperor in 41 AD.

Here’s the opening of the original, to give you an idea of what’s to come:

No word on casting yet, but given the caliber of this material, I have no doubt the stars will align. Keep an eye out for this one.

Book Jacket:

Historical novel set in 1st-century-AD Rome by Robert Graves, published in 1934. The book is written as an autobiographical memoir by Roman emperor Claudius. Physically weak, afflicted with stammering, and inclined to drool, Claudius is an embarrassment to his family and is shunted to the background of imperial affairs. The benefits of his seeming ineffectuality are twofold: he becomes a scholar and historian, and he is spared the worst cruelties inflicted on the imperial family by its own members during the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, and Caligula. Palace intrigues and murders surround him. Claudius’ informal narration serves to emphasize the banality of the imperial family’s endless greed and lust. The story concludes with Claudius ascending to the imperial throne.