Spike TV is set to air a six-part King Tut miniseries based on the life of the famous Egyptian ruler, Tutankhamun. Oscar-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley will star in this series, portraying Ay, the extremely powerful and influential grand vizier to the boy king. The program will chronicle Tut’s rise to the throne and the battle for power among his advisers.
Spike’s first scripted series in eight years, Tut is being viewed as an attempt by the macho network to attract a more diverse audience. The popularity of recent feature-length action films such as 300 and Pompeii, which evoke kingdoms of the ancient world, might have factored into the network’s decision.
The fact that Kingsley, known for such iconic films as Gandhi, has been tapped to headline, speaks to the quality of the production.
Spike executive VP of original series Sharon Levy talked up the show and the casting, saying: “Tut is the biggest and most ambitious project in Spike’s history. Who better to lead the cast than one of the greatest actors of our generation—Ben Kingsley. The character he plays, Ay, is the true power behind the Tutankhamun throne. We are so fortunate to have an actor of Ben Kingsley’s stature bring this character to life for Spike.”
The series is being produced by Muse Entertainment, known for other critically acclaimed TV projects (Bomb Girls 2, Played). Filmed entirely in Morocco and Canada, Tut is expected to debut sometime next year.