Scott Rudin seizes ‘I, Claudius’

Producer nabs screen rights to Graves book

In a $2 million deal, producer Scott Rudin has acquired screen rights to the Robert Graves historical novel “I, Claudius.”

It’s expected that “The Departed” tandem of Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar-winning scribe William Monahan will become attached; they were part of a rival bid made by Warner Bros.

Rudin hasn’t yet set the picture at a studio, but it’s likely to land at Disney — where he has an overall deal — and it could be made in concert with Miramax and Touchstone. Rudin will produce with Alison Owen, with whom he produced “The Other Boleyn Girl.”

Several studios fought for Graves’ famed book about the Roman Empire as told through the eyes of Claudius — a member of the imperial family who hid his brilliance behind a stutter and a limp but wound up outsmarting his rivals to become emperor in 41 A.D. Story ends with the crowning of Nero in 54 A.D. The book featured all the attendant backstabbing, violence and debauchery that was part and parcel of the Roman ruling class.

WB, Universal and Working Title chased the book, and New Line and Sony were also rumored to be in the hunt.

The auction occurred because movie rights that had been held by the BBC and Jim Sheridan lapsed, and RWSH’s Nick Harris brought the book back into the marketplace on behalf of the author’s estate.

The BBC turned Graves’ novel into an Emmy-winning 13-part miniseries in 1976, with Derek Jacobi playing Claudius.

Neither DiCaprio nor Monahan have deals in place, but the actor just worked with Rudin on the DreamWorks drama “Revolutionary Road.”

More Film

  • Les Arcs Film Festival

    Les Arcs European Film Festival's Industry Village Kicks Off with Strong Roster

    In a $2 million deal, producer Scott Rudin has acquired screen rights to the Robert Graves historical novel “I, Claudius.” It’s expected that “The Departed” tandem of Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar-winning scribe William Monahan will become attached; they were part of a rival bid made by Warner Bros. Rudin hasn’t yet set the picture at […]

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Box Office: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Rockets to $215 Million Opening Weekend

    In a $2 million deal, producer Scott Rudin has acquired screen rights to the Robert Graves historical novel “I, Claudius.” It’s expected that “The Departed” tandem of Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar-winning scribe William Monahan will become attached; they were part of a rival bid made by Warner Bros. Rudin hasn’t yet set the picture at […]

  • Disney-Fox Deal Sets Up Scramble for

    Disney-Fox Deal Unleashes Flood of Free-Agent Executives, Talent

    In a $2 million deal, producer Scott Rudin has acquired screen rights to the Robert Graves historical novel “I, Claudius.” It’s expected that “The Departed” tandem of Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar-winning scribe William Monahan will become attached; they were part of a rival bid made by Warner Bros. Rudin hasn’t yet set the picture at […]

  • Anita Hill

    Anita Hill Chairs Hollywood Anti-Sexual Harassment Commission Formed by Top Execs

    In a $2 million deal, producer Scott Rudin has acquired screen rights to the Robert Graves historical novel “I, Claudius.” It’s expected that “The Departed” tandem of Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar-winning scribe William Monahan will become attached; they were part of a rival bid made by Warner Bros. Rudin hasn’t yet set the picture at […]

  • Warren Beatty

    Arnon Milchan Sues Warren Beatty Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    In a $2 million deal, producer Scott Rudin has acquired screen rights to the Robert Graves historical novel “I, Claudius.” It’s expected that “The Departed” tandem of Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar-winning scribe William Monahan will become attached; they were part of a rival bid made by Warner Bros. Rudin hasn’t yet set the picture at […]

  • Oscar Isaac Addams Family

    Oscar Isaac in Talks to Voice Gomez Addams in Animated 'Addams Family' Movie

    In a $2 million deal, producer Scott Rudin has acquired screen rights to the Robert Graves historical novel “I, Claudius.” It’s expected that “The Departed” tandem of Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar-winning scribe William Monahan will become attached; they were part of a rival bid made by Warner Bros. Rudin hasn’t yet set the picture at […]

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    Publicists for Jennifer Lawrence, Daisy Ridley, Amy Adams Form New Firm

    In a $2 million deal, producer Scott Rudin has acquired screen rights to the Robert Graves historical novel “I, Claudius.” It’s expected that “The Departed” tandem of Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar-winning scribe William Monahan will become attached; they were part of a rival bid made by Warner Bros. Rudin hasn’t yet set the picture at […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content