LONDON (February 4, 2007) — Oscar winning director Roman Polanski is to team up with thriller writer Robert Harris to recreate the last days of Pompeii, the author told a British Sunday newspaper.
The Sunday Times said the epic’s $197 million cost will make it the most expensive movie ever filmed in Europe.
Based on Harris’s 2003 novel Pompeii, the movie will recount events surrounding the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, which led to the deaths of thousands of people engulfed by hot ash and collapsing buildings, the paper reported.
The Sunday Times said Polanski has asked Harris to write the script in eight weeks, and requested he boost the role of Corelia — a well-born Roman girl — to make it more appealing to younger audiences.
“It happened very quickly. Roman said he liked the book, we met in Paris and the deal was done,” Harris told the newspaper, adding that filming would begin in the summer.
Polanski left the United States in 1978 after facing sentencing on child-sex charges. He has continued to work with American actors, including Adrien Brody, who picked up an Oscar for his performance in Polanski’s World War II drama “The Pianist.”
Harris told the Sunday Times that Polanski had not yet chosen a leading man to play lead character Marcus Attilus Primus.