Anthony Hopkins’ Roman Empire epic drops action-packed first trailer — ‘Those About to Die’ is giving ‘Gladiator’ vibes

Anthony Hopkins wearing white robes as Vespasian in Peacock Original "Those About to Die"
(Image credit: Reiner Bajo/Peacock)

The 2024 Olympics might be coming up soon, but if modern sports don't have enough bloodshed for you, Peacock's upcoming Roman Empire epic "Those About to Die" just might.

This new 10-part saga takes us back in time to ancient Rome (79 AD, specifically) and into the corrupt world of gladiatorial combat, exposing viewers to a different side of the Roman Empire that will be familiar to anyone who has seen "Gladiator." The series promises to tell a story based "at the explosive intersection of sports, politics and dynasties."We've just got our first look at what's to come in "Those About to Die" and the stakes certainly seem very high indeed. 

The dramatic first teaser foregrounds two things, above all else: the underhand politicking of shows like "Game of Thrones," and the pure spectacle of combat in Rome's arenas, with one character issuing a stark warning: this is a "kill or be killed" world. 

Whether it will be one of the best shows about the Roman Empire remains to be seen, but this trailer should satisfy anyone with a thirst for action. Check it out below:

Those About to Die | Official Trailer | Peacock Original - YouTube Those About to Die | Official Trailer | Peacock Original - YouTube
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"Those About to Die" was inspired by the historical book of the same name by Daniel P. Mannix, and the series is penned by Robert Rodat. In addition to Hopkins, the series also stars "Game of Thrones" alum Iwan Rheon as Tenax, the man who runs the gambling operation for Rome's spectacles, as well as Tom Hughes and Jojo Macari as Vespasian's sons, Titus and Domitian.  

Peacock's full synopsis reads: "Those About to Die" is an epic drama set in the corrupt world of the spectacle-driven gladiatorial competition, exploring a side of ancient Rome never before told — the dirty business of entertaining the masses, giving the mob what they want most: blood and sport. The series introduces an ensemble of characters from all corners of the Roman Empire who collide at the explosive intersection of sports, politics, and dynasties."

The series marks the TV debut of director Rolan Emmerich, whom you'll know from blockbuster disaster flicks like "Moonfall," "Independence Day" and "The Day After Tomorrow."

If that trailer has you clamoring for action, you don't have long to wait. All 10 episodes of "Those About to Die" will be available to stream on Thursday, July 18 on Peacock in the US and on Friday, July 19 on Prime Video in the UK. 

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Staff Writer, Streaming

Martin is a Streaming Writer at Tom’s Guide, covering all things movies and TV. If it’s in the theaters or available to stream somewhere, he’s probably watched it… especially if it has a dragon in it. Before joining the team, he was a Staff Writer at What To Watch where he wrote about a broad range of shows that stretched from "Doctor Who" and "The Witcher" to "Bridgerton" and "Love Island". When he’s not watching the next must-see movie or show, he’s probably still in front of a screen playing massive RPGs, reading, spending a fortune on TCGs, or watching the NFL.