Back to IndieWire

Roland Emmerich Developing ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ TV Miniseries

Roland Emmerich Developing 'Lawrence of Arabia' TV Miniseries

When Roland Emmerich makes a movie, more often than not you can bet that he’s going to go big. You could say that he’s a filmmaker who prefers an epic scale, and an argument could be made that he’s actually modern cinema’s equivalent to a David Lean. Okay, okay, we jest… but trust Emmerich of all people to look at a classic Lean epic and decide that of all things, he’s going to make it bigger.

Lean’s 216-minute masterpiece, “Lawrence of Arabia,” told the story of the controversial British military figure T. E. Lawrence, and won seven Oscars back in 1962. The film was re-released in some territories last year to mark its 50thAnniversary, and maybe that’s what has prompted the interest in Lawrence again. Emmerich is reportedly working on a miniseries based on the life of Lawrence alongside biographer Michael Korda and screenwriter Rod Lurie (“Straw Dogs”).

It’s fair to say that even though Lean’s film is very, very good and very, very long, there’s so much of T. E. Lawrence’s story that never made it into the film and so a miniseries might actually be a good way to explore more of his character. The project comes from FremantleMedia International, and their CEO David Ellender had this to say about it: “The heritage of this story is fascinating – beyond the historical element, it’s a personal tale of emotional turmoil, identity crisis, conflicting loyalties and individual brilliance The Middle East and Arab Spring as we know them today are linked to Lawrence’s actions, which make this incredibly topical.”

And hey, he’s not wrong. Maybe Emmerich could be on to a winner with this one. [Screen Crush]

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , , ,



Hey, maybe it'll get people interested in the incredible original film. That's worth something I guess.

Ray H

I'm sure everyone involved knows it can never be as great as Lean's film, but I'm open to another take based on T.E. Lawrence's life/writings


Uh oh.


Lean's film is widely remembered as the only fictional depiction of Lawrence, but it's actually not–it wasn't even the first. Terrence Rattigan's play "Ross" was staged in 1960; Lawrence was a recurring character in "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" as one of Indy's mentors; and in the late 80s, I think, there was another miniseries about Lawrence's role in the Versaille conference, (also touched on by Young Indy). He was played then by a young Ralph Fiennes, who, if memory serves, was recommended for the role by none other then Peter O'Toole.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *