Producer Scott Rudin has picked up the film rights to Robert Graves' Roman Empire-set novel, "I, Claudius."
Leonardo DiCaprio and screenwriter William Monahan, who worked together on "The Departed," are circling the project, though no offers have been made.
"I, Claudius," published in 1934, recounts the internecine plots and counterplots surrounding the fourth emperor of Rome, who ruled from 41-54 A.D.
The novel previously was adapted into the 1937 film of the same name, directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring Charles Laughton as the beleaguered emperor. But it is best known as the basis for the 1976 BBC miniseries, "I, Claudius," which starred Derek Jacobi, Sian Phillips and John Hurt.
"Claudius" is not yet set up at a studio, though sources said it likely will land at Walt Disney Studios, where Rudin's production company is housed. In that case, the adult-oriented project most likely would land at the studio's specialty films division Miramax or its Touchstone Pictures label.
Rudin's recent films include "Venus" and "Notes on a Scandal" as well as the upcoming "The Darjeeling Limited" and "Margot at the Wedding."