Bruno Heller Hoping for a Rome Feature


Bruno Heller, creator of CBS’ hit show “The Mentalist,” wants to produce a theatrical wrap-up to his critically acclaimed and prematurely canceled HBO drama “Rome.”

“There is talk of doing a movie version,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s moving along. It’s not there until it is there. I would love to round that show off.”

The period drama ran for two seasons on HBO. With the final season of “The Sopranos” as its lead-in, the first season was solidly rated, but high production costs presented the network with a tough call on the pickup. HBO opted for a second season but not a third, effectively canceling the show in summer 2006 before the second season debuted the following January.

Season 2 of “Rome” was a surprise as the show did remarkably well without a “Sopranos” lead-in. HBO executives have since admitted that axing the show probably was a mistake.

The show’s Kevin McKidd now has a recurring role on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” Fellow “Rome” star Ray Stevenson is in Punisher: War Zone, and Polly Walker is cast in SCI FI Channel’s “Caprica.”

The original series outline for “Rome” next called for the hedonistic Roman leaders to deal with the rise of a certain problematic rabbi.

“I discovered halfway through writing the second season the show was going to end,” Heller said. “The second was going to end with death of Brutus. Third and fourth season would be set in Egypt. Fifth was going to be the rise of the messiah in Palestine. But because we got the heads-up that the second season would be it, I telescoped the third and fourth season into the second one, which accounts for the blazing speed we go through history near the end. There’s certainly more than enough history to go around.”

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Weekend: Feb. 27, 2020, Mar. 1, 2020

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