Romulus, the films to see if you liked it

Romulus, the films to see if you liked it
The new Romulus series, signed by Matteo Rovere: at the origins of civilization, will be broadcast on Sky from 6 November, telling how the foundation of Rome was reached, through the lives of three young people of different origins whose paths converge towards a common destiny .

It is not the first time that TV and cinema have told this important slice of history, mixing reality and legend within evocative and original products. In our discussion, we explore Romulus and all those productions relating to the history of ancient Rome that you can watch if you were pleasantly impressed by Matteo Rovere's TV series.

Romulus: what it is

Yes it is a Sky Original TV series that will be broadcast on the Sky Atlantic channel from 6 November; Matteo Rovere, creator and director, has produced the ten episodes that make it up with his Greenland label in collaboration with Sky and Cattleya. Romulus focuses on the history of the birth of Rome and is based on what could have been the facts that probably led to the creation of the myth of Romulus and Remus.

We are in the eighth century BC. The populations of the Latin League are going through a period marked by famine and drought and the gods decree their will: for life to flourish again, the king of Alba Numitor must go into exile. When this happens, the throne is inherited by the nephews Yemos and Enitos, who are however ousted by the king's brother. It is at this point that Yemos will be forced to flee into the forest: here, he will make the acquaintance of Wiros, a slave engaged in an initiation rite in which he will have to survive the ruthless goddess Rumina.

Between Yemos and Wiros a bond of brotherhood, which will unite them in an alliance aimed at subverting the established order and conquering power, while the goddess Rumina reveals to them what the future holds: a great and powerful city, called Ruma.

Romulus thus follows the events that, intertwining history and magical legend, have led to the birth of a power such as Rome, immersing the viewer in wild places, in merciless nature dominated by equally cruel divinities. What contributes to amplifying the atmosphere of historical evocation is the use of protolatin as the language spoken by the characters, recreated thanks to the studies conducted by Rovere with the collaboration of the University of Sapienza. However, it is not the first time that the director shows us the roots of Rome.

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Before Romulus: The First King

In 2019, in fact, Matteo Rovere himself won the David di Donatello for another production dedicated to the myth of the founding of Rome, or Il Primo Re . Also in this case, a film was made in which the protagonists speak the Protolatine language. In this regard, Rovere stated:

my goal is to bring the viewer into the reality of the stories I propose

The Primo Re represents in this case a real reinterpretation made by Rovere relatively to the legend of Romulus and Remus. In fact, if the director goes to Romulus to seek the historical value of the epic facts we know, in the 2019 film he instead provides his own version of what the two brothers were: shepherds captured by the citizens of Alba Longa, they are enslaved and then flee and rebel against slavery by freeing the other prisoners from their chains. The brothers are soon destined to find themselves against each other in their rise to power which will see one leading a new tribe and the other inevitably succumb.

The two brothers Romulus and Remus are portrayed here respectively by Alessio Lapice and Alessandro Borghi, while the production is entrusted to Greenland in collaboration with Rai Cinema.

As in Romulus, also in Il Primo Re we see an abandonment of the classic cinematographic representations of ancient Rome in favor instead of darker scenarios immersed in the wilderness, of which men and gods are part as the protagonists of a ruthless game.


If you are looking for a film that similarly possesses the black tones of a thriller, combined in this case also with action, Centurion could be what can do for you. The film directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent, Hellboy) was released in theaters in 2010 and stars Michael Fassbender, Dominic West and Liam Cunningham.

Centurion revisits the legend concerning the alleged disappearance of the Ninth Legion Roman during the conquest of Scotland, in that period of history in which one of the objectives was to make Britain an integral part of the Roman Empire. The film therefore starts from the events of Quintus Dias, a Roman centurion who finds himself within the Ninth Legion, who survived one of the many attacks by the Picts barbarians who defend their lands from invasion.

Una strenuous struggle between the Roman fighters who, until the end, will try to keep their positions firm in the territory, and the indigenous tribes who will instead give all their violence to pay for it to those foreigners who have dared to go against a tough and brutal like theirs.


In 1999, however, one of the most interesting interpretations of ancient Roman scenarios made for cinema was released. Made by Julie Taymor, Titus is a dramatic film that operates a reinterpretation of the tragedy Titus Andronicus signed by William Shakespeare, setting the facts in a hybrid context halfway between the ancient and modern world.

The plot of Titus narrates the Roman general Titus Andronicus, who committed the crime of having defeated and enslaved the queen of the Goths Tamora. The latter, who became empress after being taken in marriage by the emperor Saturnino, will unleash her revenge on Titus by mutilating Lavinia, the latter's daughter.

One of the aspects that make this drama special is the setting, since it makes its own the historical context belonging to ancient Rome to decline it within contemporary scenarios: here, in fact, it is possible to see cars, guns, microphones, and also the clothing of the characters is modern together with the visible architectures. Among the protagonists of Titus are Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Alan Cumming and James Frain.


Another reinterpretation of a Shakespearean tragedy, set in the violent world and brutal of Rome that was. This time we find Ralph Fiennes directing, in a 2011 drama called Coriolanus since it takes its name from Shakespeare's tragedy Coriolano.

The plot is inserted in our days and sees the presence of modern technologies, albeit flanked by archaic language taken directly from the Shakespearean drama keeping the lines and the related sixteenth-century idiom. It sees on the one hand the general Caio Marzio Coriolano, despised by the people already about to rise up because of hunger and discontent; and on the other hand the enemy of Marzio, Tullo Aufidio, who marching towards Rome overcame his nemesis during the battle of Corioli.

Although his victory guarantees him the right to be appointed consul of Rome , Tullo will be a victim of the secret plots of the plebeian tribunes and will have to take on an unexpected alliance to get revenge on Rome and on those who made him a traitor to the people.

In Coriolanus we see Ralph Fiennes at his first test as a director, as well as in the role of Coriolanus, flanked in this film by Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, Jessica Chastain, Vanessa Redgrave and James Nesbitt.

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