Ridley Scott has signed on to produce a four-hour miniseries version of Robert Harris’ bestselling novel "Pompeii" for Sony Pictures Television and Germany’s Tandem Communications.
Scott (and his Scott Free Prods.) is producing the project with prolific telepic producer Judith Verno ("Into Thin Air") and her Peace Out banner. It will be shopped internationally in the days ahead at the MIP convention in Cannes, which opens Monday.
"Pompeii" is a thriller about the race to survive the looming disaster of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in ancient Italy.
"The creation of worlds – specifically those historical worlds which continue to capture the popular imagination – is what we love to do and do best," Scott said. "’Pompeii’ is a strong and compelling character drama set against a backdrop of a flourishing but ultimately doomed civilization – exactly what makes great event television."
Helen Verno, head of movies and minis for SPT, said "Pompeii" will make for "an exciting miniseries."
"The story unfolds as both a love story and a thriller, with the historical, apocalyptic backdrop of a city on the precipice of destruction and characters who are totally relatable to a contemporary audience," she added.
Harris’ "Pompeii" at one point had been set to come to the big screen, with Roman Polanski at attached to produce and direct an adaptation for Summit. But he pulled out of the project in fall 2007, after spending months working on it, Variety reported at the time.