10:31am PT by Philiana Ng
Halle Berry Developing 'Hannibal' Miniseries for History
History Channel is developing a Hannibal miniseries with Halle Berry.
The series, a co-production by A+E Studios and Red Arrow Entertainment, "will tell the story of the greatest generals in antiquity -- Hannibal Barca and his archrival Scipio Africanus -- who went head-to-head in the Second Punic War." Oscar-nominated writer Jeffrey Caine (The Constant Gardener, GoldenEye) will pen the script, with Berry serving as executive producer.
"Hannibal was not only the greatest African general to ever live,” said Berry in a statement, “he may have been the greatest general, period. His story is an intricate and captivating ride, and I’m thrilled to get this project off the ground with our partners at History.”
Hannibal kicks off in Carthage, in 264 B.C., at the beginning of his life in North Africa and goes through the second Punic War between Carthage and Rome. Hannibal and his archrival Scipio Africanus take a sacred vow to destroy the other and the nation he served. However, despite their firecely opposed allegiances, the two are brought together and grow to respect each other as brothers.
For Berry's part, this pact with History marks the Oscar winner's latest trek into television. It was announced earlier this year that Berry will star in CBS' 13-episode summer series Extant from executive producer Steven Spielberg, and she inked a two-year first-look deal with CBS Television Studios. Berry starred in HBO's Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, for which she earned an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award. She also snagged Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for Oprah Winfrey's Their Eyes Were Watching God.
In addition to Berry, executive producers on the project are Steven Jensen, Vincent Cirrincione and Caine. Simon Maxwell will be an EP for Red Arrow, while History & H2's executive vp and general manager Dirk Hoogstra, Elaine Frontain Bryant and Julian P. Hobbs will be executives in charge of production for History.
Should History move forward with Hannibal (not to be confused with NBC's Hannibal, which is based on the character Hannibal Lecter from the Thomas Harris novels), this would mark the cable network's latest foray into scripted TV, where it has successfully launched the Emmy-winning Hatfields & McCoys miniseries, Vikings and The Bible. History also is developing a Roots remake and has the four-hour Adrien Brody miniseries Houdini on tap, as well as Bonnie & Clyde airing on multiple networks Dec. 8 and 9.