Screenwriter Robert Towne has been hired by Sony Pictures Television to write the script for the new Ridley Scott produced TV series Pompeii based on the Robert Harris historical book.
For those of you not familiar with Townes work he's written a ton of Hollywood films over the years including Chinatown, Heaven Can Wait, Tequila Sunrise, Days of Thunder, The Firm, Mission Impossible and several others. The guy has a ton of experience and he's written some great scripts. He's a great choice to write the script for this series.
Pompeii was published in 2003 and it tells the story of a young Roman engineer working on the mighty Aqua Augusta aqueduct that feeds the ancient cities of the Bay of Naples, but who ultimately finds himself struggling to survive the catastrophic volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Towne had this to say in a statment:
All of us I think, have fantasies about living in the past and Pompeii uniquely allows you to indulge that fantasy. The Harris book tells a compelling story with contemporary relevance. If you want an idea of what it was like to live life back then, 'Pompeii' is it.
Exec producer Ridley Scott adds that Towne would...
...bring his trademark vision to this remarkable project. In portraying an historical world on the brink of destruction, he will no doubt capture and engage audiences globally. His adaptation will truly make for an astonishing television event.
This should make for a great TV series. So far there's sme great solid talent developing it, and it's such an interesting story that I think people would love to see get made.
Here's the book description from amazon:
All along the Mediterranean coast, the Roman empire’s richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas, enjoying the last days of summer. The world’s largest navy lies peacefully at anchor in Misenum. The tourists are spending their money in the seaside resorts of Baiae, Herculaneum, and Pompeii.
But the carefree lifestyle and gorgeous weather belie an impending cataclysm, and only one man is worried. The young engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct that brings fresh water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the Bay of Naples. His predecessor has disappeared. Springs are failing for the ﬁrst time in generations. And now there is a crisis on the Augusta’s sixty-mile main line—somewhere to the north of Pompeii, on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius.
Attilius—decent, practical, and incorruptible—promises Pliny, the famous scholar who commands the navy, that he can repair the aqueduct before the reservoir runs dry. His plan is to travel to Pompeii and put together an expedition, then head out to the place where he believes the fault lies. But Pompeii proves to be a corrupt and violent town, and Attilius soon discovers that there are powerful forces at work—both natural and man-made—threatening to destroy him.