Back in April, Spike TV announced their intentions to get back into the fray of scripted programming. At the time, Spike announced plans for a series about mafia hit men, one based on the life of famous criminal Whitey Bulger, and a series about bizarre 1970s American military experiments. Now, it looks like Spike is reaching way, way back in time for their newest scripted project: it will be based on Tutankhamun, the youngest Pharaoh ever to rule Ancient Egypt.
Tutankhamun is the most famous of all the Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, due to his extreme youth (he ascended to the throne at age nine and passed away at nineteen) coupled with the publicity surrounding Howard Carter & George Herbert's discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922. Spike is planning a six-part series about the boy Pharaoh, with hour-long episodes. Canadian production company MUSE Entertainment ('The Kennedys') is helming the project, based on the historical information available about Tutankhamun's reign.
Tutankhamun was a Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, having ruled 1332 BCE – 1323 BCE. Tutankhamun's burial mask, pictured above, remains the most iconic image regarding Ancient Egypt in contemporary imaginations. The cause of Tutankhamun's death, at the youthful age of nineteen, has been the subject of considerable debate. There has been speculation that he was assassinated, however many scholars believe the death was accidental.
According to Spike TV, the series will explore the drama of power, political backstabbing, war and murder and chronicles King Tut’s rise to glory, his efforts to rule a chaotic empire and the enigma surrounding his death. A young Tut is thrust into power after the murder of his father. The neophyte ruler is forced to marry his sister in order to maintain the dynasty. Although Tut rules as Pharaoh, he is controlled like a puppet by three formidable men who plot against him and vie for the throne themselves. Against all odds, Tut grows from an insecure and manipulated prince to a hero on the battlefield, leading his kingdom into war and victory. Just as he takes control of his nation and his destiny, he is betrayed. (Sounds as though Spike is leaning towards the assassination theory).
Casting Tutankhamun himself will prove difficult, as the ages nine and nineteen don't bring many actors to mind. A reconstruction of Tutankhamun's face is pictured to the right; does it evoke any actors in your mind?