HBO’s Rome ran for only 22 episodes. Divided over two seasons, the show premiered in 2005 and concluded in 2007. Yet despite its brevity, the original HBO epic left an indelible legacy—and some unfinished business.
Reports of a possible Rome movie continuing the narrative of the series sprung up shortly after its finale aired in March 2007. By itself that episode seemed to offer plenty of finality, with the character of Octavian (Simon Woods) assuming the title of “First Citizen of Rome” (emperor), and Atia (Polly Walker) taking pride in her son’s triumph, even as she quietly mourned the death of Marc Antony (James Purefoy). Even Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson) got some kind of peace when he lied to the newly crowned emperor, his former friend, about Cleopatra’s son Caesarion. Pullo claimed the boy was dead, yet Pullo was raising the lad as his own. It thus also left open-ended whether viewers should believe Pullo’s similar claim that Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) likewise has died.