EXCLUSIVE: Exclusive Media Group has set Burr Steers to direct Emperor: Young Caesar, the screen adaptation of the first of four bestselling novels that trace the relationship between Julius and Marcus Brutus from childhood to that fateful encounter on the Roman Senate floor. William Broyles and Stephen Harrigan wrote the script. EMG’s Nigel Sinclair is producing with Guy East, Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari, Atmosphere Entertainment’s Mark Canton, and Broyles.
The epic period film is a departure for Steers, who previously directed Igby Goes Down, 17 Again and Charlie St. Cloud, the latter two of which starred Zac Efron. Nunnari and Canton previously teamed on 300, and the Iggulden novels have that same kind of historic sweep, and mix of fiction and history. The first film will be based on the first two novels, The Gates of Rome and The Field of Swords, in which Julius and Brutus are raised to be come noble Roman soldiers. Subsequent novels, The God of War and The Death of Kings, trace their path as Caesar becomes the most powerful warrior in the world, with Marcus as his side. Romantic entanglements and changing allegiances lead them down a tragic path. Their fates are intertwined much more closely in the novels than in such works as the HBO series, Rome, which covered some of the same ground.The intention of Exclusive Media and the producers is to make a trilogy from the four Iggulden books.
“I’ve always had an interest in Julius Caesar and his formative years and am thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of this project,” Steers said. “There has never been a film that focuses on Caesar as a young man, and Conn Iggulden, Bill Broyles and Stephen Harrigan have a completely fresh, timely, and exciting take on one of the greatest historical figures of all time. I look forward to working with Conn, Bill and Stephen, Exclusive Media, Atmosphere’s Mark Canton and Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nunnari and Craig Flores.”
Exclusive most recently completed the Peter Weir-directed The Way Back, and Let Me In, the Matt Reeves-directed remake of Let The Right One In. Steers is repped by CAA and manager Shawn Simon.