In excellent news for hungover history teachers, HBO has won the long sought-after rights to make a new adaptation of Robert Graves’ I, Claudius, the historical novel that offers testimony to the idea that you should always allow people to be total dicks to you, because one day they’ll all be dead and you’ll get to be emperor. The executive producers of the late HBO series Rome are behind the deal (and hopefully still have some of their old sets lying around), winning the hotly contested property over other suitors like director Jim Sheridan and producer Scott Rudin, who abandoned his idea to have Leonardo DiCaprio star for a chance to make another Roman Age epic, Cleopatra, with Angelina Jolie.

And while the original I, Claudius became an Emmy-winning, 13-part BBC miniseries in 1976 and no doubt remains a mainstay of middle school lesson plans to this day, the new I, Claudius will not be a remake, but will draw directly from Graves’ original novel and its follow-up Claudius The God And His Wife Messalina. Finally, the scene where Messalina challenges a courtesan to see who can have the most sex in one day will get the pay-cable retelling it’s always deserved.

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