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Anthony Hopkins to play Roman emperor in Roland Emmerich gladiator show

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Anthony Hopkins will play Emperor Vespasian in "Those About to Die." File Photo by John Gress/UPI
Anthony Hopkins will play Emperor Vespasian in "Those About to Die." File Photo by John Gress/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 18 (UPI) -- AGC Studios and Peacock announced Wednesday that Anthony Hopkins has joined the cast of its gladiator series Those About to Die. Production begins in March.

The two-time Oscar winner, for The Silence of the Lambs and The Father, will play Emperor Vespasian. Robert Rodat wrote the series and Independence Day director Roland Emmerich is directing.

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Those About to Die will film at Rome's Cinecitta Studios. HBO's Rome and films like Cleopatra, Ben-Hur and The Name of the Rose have also utilized the historic studio.

Vespasian will have to defend his throne and his own heirs from those trying to usurp him. Hopkins is the first actor to join the ensemble cast.

Those About to Die will not be Hopkins' first foray into television. He starred on the first season of HBO's Westworld.

Gladiators have also battled on television in Starz's series Spartacus.

Peacock will stream Those About to Die in the United States. They have not announced a premiere date.

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