Kiefer Sutherland is in final negotiations to portray the villain in Summit Entertainment's Pompeii for director Paul W.S. Anderson.

The story is set just days before the historic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) stars as Milo, a former slave-turned-gladiator, who must race back to save his true love Flavia (Emily Browning), and his best friend before it's too late. Kiefer Sutherland is portraying a Roman senator who enslaved Milo's village and forces Flavia's father (Jared Harris), Milo's master, to have his daughter marry the senator.

Paul W.S. Anderson is directing from a screenplay by Lee Batchler and Janet Scott Batchler, with revisions by Downton Abbey creator Downton Abbey. The director is also producing with Jeremy Bolt, Robert Kulzer, and Martin Moszkowicz. Constantin Film will provide financing, with Summit Entertainment distributing in North America. Production started in Toronto last week.