Pic will focus on historic aspects of rebel leader
Graham King is developing “Spartacus” as a feature film, focusing on the rebel leader who took on the Roman Empire for two years.King and Tim Headington’s GK Films banner acquired the pitch pre-emptively from “300” writer Michael B. Gordon. The project is aiming for a less fictionalized storyline than such previous versions as the 1960 Stanley Kubrick-directed film and Starz series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand.” GK says it will take a more factual historic approach, with Spartacus as a revolutionary who leads a band of 30,000 gladiators and 40,000 freed slaves in revolt against the Roman war machine between 73 and 71 BC. The rebellion was defeated through commander Marcus Licinius Crassus. The Kubrick version, starring Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier, was based on the novel by Howard Fast. USA Networks did a version in 2004 with Goran Visnjic, while the cable series “Blood and Sand” bowed last year. Gordon also wrote on and received “story by” credit on Paramount’s “G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra.” Four-year-old GK Films is in post-production on “Hugo,” directed by Martin Scorsese; “In The Land of Blood and Honey,” written and directed by Angelina Jolie; and “The Rum Diary,” starring Johnny Depp. It’s also developing the screen adaptation of “Jersey Boys,” the untitled Freddie Mercury story, a reboot of “Tomb Raider” and “Dark Shadows” for Warners. Gordon is repped by UTA, Kaplan Perrone Management and Sloane Offer Weber Dern.