Michael Hirst has been enjoying a huge rise in success and has become one of the most prominent British screenwriters of the moment. He has enjoyed success with both ‘The Tudors’ and with the epic saga ‘Vikings’. The latter of which has become one of the most popular television series in the world and can even claim to have boosted tourism in Scandinavia. He is now set to join forces with Martin Scorsese, one of the most acclaimed filmmakers of all-time.
The pair is working on a series about the Romans and this is a topic about which they both share an obsession. It will tell the tale of ancient Rome and its early rulers, including Julius Caesar’s rise to power. The title of the series is ‘The Caesars’. Currently, the plan is for them to create a television drama that will last for several seasons. Hirst has already written the pilot for the series and an outline for the rest of the episodes in the first season. The start of filming is planned for the beginning of 2019 and Italy will be the main location for shooting.
Although Hirst has worked alongside many celebrities before, he has not worked with any as successful and famous as Martin Scorsese and he has said that he is excited about this opportunity. It is his dream to work alongside one of the most revered directors of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Scorsese is particularly well-known for his unique style of direction which involves using naturalistic performances and realism. The genres of films which he is typically associated are crime dramas and psychological thrillers, such as ‘Goodfellas’ and Taxi Driver’. Hirst has said that Scorsese is genuinely passionate about the Romans and that he has been keen for some time to get involved with a film or television project based on them. According to Hirst, Scorsese is quite knowledgeable about the period as it is an era of history in which he is particularly interested.
Justin Pollard is a historical advisor for Hirst and it was he who had the initial telephone conversation with Scorsese. The pair chatted about a variety of sources for the series and also about Roman poetry. Some parts of the conversation event took place in Latin. Scorsese is just as lucky to work with Hirst as the other way around because Hirst has a proven track record in transforming historical events into popular drama series. The 1998 film ‘Elizabeth’ was written by Hirst and this starred Cate Blanchett in the role of the Tudor queen in her youth. The movie was both a critical and commercial success and was nominated for seven Oscars, of which it won one.
‘Vikings’ is currently one of the most popular series written by Hirst and this draws up to eight million viewers per episode in North America alone. It is currently listed as the world’s number one show by IMDb website while ‘Game of Thrones’ is in just fifth place. Hirst is staggered by the success of this series as it is being shown across the globe in countries including Russia and China.
The Tudors was equally as popular as the series spanned four seasons consisting of 37 episodes. The series was nominated for Golden Globes and won Emmy Awards. ‘The Tudors’ starred Jonathan Rhys Meyers as a young Henry VIII.