Bruno Heller wants to create theatrical closure to his critically beloved and prematurely canceled HBO drama Rome, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"There is talk of doing a movie version," he said. "It's moving along. It's not there until it is there. I would love to round that show off."
The lavish period drama ran for two seasons on HBO, which co-produced the series with the BBC. 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 to help get more value from its initial investment but not a third, effectively canceling the show in summer 2006 before the second season debuted the following January. The Rome sets were destroyed, and the actors were released from their contracts, making the decision all but irreversible.
Season 2 of Rome was a surprise. Although slightly lower rated than the first, the show did remarkably well without a Sopranos lead-in. The first season received four Emmy Awards, and another seven Emmys were heaped upon the final season.
Suddenly Rome was a Greek tragedy: a hit show with no future. The broadcast nets quickly snatched up the show's leads for top fall pilots.
HBO executives have since admitted that axing the show probably was a mistake.
One seeming drawback to revisiting the show after its wrap was the demise of a key lead character, Lucius (Kevin McKidd). Yet Heller reveals that the character's off-camera fate was far from fatal.
"It was very deliberate that we saw him drifting away but didn't see him atop a funeral pyre," Heller said.
Heller would not discuss plot ideas, but the original series outline for Rome next called for the hedonistic Roman leaders to deal with the rise of a certain problematic rabbi -- a story line that would have put a whole new spin on the Greatest Story Ever Told and potentially bring Rome a larger audience.
No production date has been set.