Relativity Media has picked up the rights to Robert Graves’ classic Roman Empire-set novel I, Claudius, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Jim Sheridan will write the screenplay with longtime collaborator Nye Heron and direct as well.
Graves’ 1934 novel recounts the internecine plots and counterplots surrounding Claudius, the fourth emperor of Rome who ruled from 41-54 A.D. The stuttering and handicapped Claudius, born into a murderous, imperial family, used his cunning mind and rivals’ misjudgment to not only survive but eventually become one of Rome’s greatest emperors.
The novel was adapted into the 1937 film of the same name, directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring Charles Laughton. But it is best known as the basis for the 1976 BBC miniseries, “I, Claudius,” that starred Derek Jacobi as the stuttering Claudius, Sian Phillips as the scheming Livia and John Hurt as the dissolute Caligula.