Roland Emmerich
Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Independence Day director Roland Emmerich is developing a six-hour miniseries based on the story of T.E. Lawrence, the British Army office whose experiences in the Middle East during World War I were represented in David Lean’s 1962 epic, Lawrence of Arabia.

Emmerich will serve as a producer on the series, which is being spearheaded by FremantleMedia International. “T.E. Lawrence was undoubtedly one of the greatest military and political strategists of our time and a stunningly intrepid Englishman who tried to unite the Arab world,” said FremantleMedia CEO David Ellender in the press release announcing the news.

The press release also stressed the relevance of Lawrence’s story, on both an emotional and historical level. “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 epic incredibly topical. I am delighted that we are working with partners of such high-caliber to bring this project to the screen,” Ellender said.

Biographer Michael Korda (Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia) will serve as the historical consultant on the project off of a script co-written by Rod Lurie, who wrote and directed 2000’s The Condenter. So far no casting choices have been announced, and broadcast dates are also very far off.

It’s a bold choice to take on the story of Lawrence of Arabia. The David Lean film is widely considered one of the best films in the history of cinema, but the story is expansive and might be served well by the miniseries treatment. Now we just have to figure out who is willing to take on the challenge of filling Peter O’Toole’s shoes as T.E. Lawrence.

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Lawrence of Arabia
  • Movie
  • 216 minutes