rome series

On Sunday, two friends and I visited the the actual set used in the HBO/BBC series Rome. I love this show and own the box set. The series was filmed in Rome from 2004 to 2007, the majority at the historic Cinecitta studios in the South East of Rome city.

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You can see the temples and law-courts of the Roman Forum as well as some of the back streets and houses shown on tv.

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hbo romeAccording to staff the exhibit is permanent and it only costs 10 Euro and a thirty minute metro/subway ride. Cinecitta, or cinema city, was founded by Mussolini in the 1930s to promote Italian cinema and since then it has maintained a good reputation in the industry hosting the filming of Gangs of New York and HBO Rome.

rome show

A large part of this set was unfortunately destroyed by a fire in 2007. According to HBO, the fire started after they had finished filming the second season of Rome. Some of this set was re-used by the crew of the long-running BBC sci-fi drama series Doctor Who, for the fourth season episode “The Fires of Pompeii”. Read an article about the fire here

rome tv show

rome tv showThe Rome series was filmed between March 2004 and May 2005 Rome in co-production with RAI, the Italian state broadcaster. As well as using the back lots of Cinecitta, the surrounding Italian countryside was used for outdoor scenes. It was a huge undertaking, with an international crew of 350, and more than 50 local Italian interns, some of whom I know. I would have worked on this for free had I known about it. Here is a short 360° video of the set I took on my iPhone. HBO Set Panorama.

why was rome cancelled

rome on hboBecause of the high cost to produce the series, only two seasons (22 episodes in total) were commissioned. Bruno Heller, who co-created and wrote most of the series said, “I discovered halfway through writing the second season the show was going to end. The second season was going to end with the death of Brutus. Third and fourth season would be set in Egypt. Fifth was going to be the rise of the messiah in Palestine. But because we got the heads-up that the second season would be it, I telescoped the third and fourth season into the second one, which accounts for the blazing speed we go through history near the end. There’s certainly more than enough history to go around.” HBO Set Video

rome episodes

In February 2008 Ray Stevenson, Titus Pullo, stated that a Rome film was in development, with Heller working on a script. Heller confirmed in December that there was “talk of doing a movie version,” adding that “It’s moving along. It’s not there until it is there. I would love to round that show off.”

rome hbo

rome hboIn an April 2009 interview with Associated Press, Kevin McKidd (Lucius Vorenus) stated the “Rome” film was “in development”, and Vorenus will likely be a part of it. In March 2010, Entertainment Weekly stated that Heller had completed the script for Morning Light Productions, the film’s financiers, and was now awaiting a director and a studio, since HBO Films “won’t be involved.”

rome on hbo

I hope it goes ahead.