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Those About to Die: Everything to Know About the Cast & Characters in Peacock's Gladiator Series

Let's take a closer look at the major characters in Peacock's new historical epic.

By Matthew Jackson

This summer, just one week before the Paris Olympics heat up our screens, Peacock's giving you another reason to tune in for epic action. Instead of modern sports, though, the streamer will plunge viewers into a world of ancient intrigue and danger with Those About to Die, a series focused on the gladiatorial games of Ancient Rome and the powerful players who all want a piece of its glory. 

Created by Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan), directed by Roland Emmerich (making his TV debut), and inspired by the book of the same name by Daniel P. Mannix, Those About to Die will take viewers back to the first century A.D., at a time when Rome is enjoying a period of stability and the Emperor (played by the great Anthony Hopkins) is rewarding his citizens with the construction of a new gladiatorial arena, the Colosseum. But of course, stability isn't always what it seems, and as the games go on, everyone from nobles to warriors to the denizens of Rome's underworld is scheming for a leg up. 

RELATED: Everything to Know About Those About to Die

So, who are the major players in this epic drama? Let's take a closer look at 10 key figures to watch for with Those About to Die now streaming on Peacock.

A Guide to the Cast of Those About to Die

Anthony Hopkins as Emperor Vespasian

Vespasian on Those About To Die episode 101

To lead the cast of Those About to Die, the creators chose two-time Academy Award Winner Anthony Hopkins to play the Emperor of Rome himself, Vespasian. When we meet him, Vespasian is about a decade into his reign, and all too aware that his two sons (more on them in a minute) are thinking of what they might do to secure power for themselves in the event of his death. Still, he's a formidable leader, and if anyone knows how to play the game of power, it's Vespasian.

Iwan Rheon as Tenax

Iwan Rheon as Tenax in Those About To Die

The Emperor rules from his palaces, but Tenax rules a different kind of empire. A crime boss in the Roman underworld who runs gambling operations for the gladiatorial games and chariot races, he came from a hardscrabble life on the streets and has since risen to run his own operation, something he's not inclined to surrender. Viewers will no doubt remember Rheon for his roles on Game of Thrones and The Defenders, where he played expert, often cruel, schemers.

Sara Martins as Cala

Cala on Those About To Die 101

Not everyone in Those About to Die has power in Rome. Some come to the city seeking something else, and Cala is one of those individuals. A Numidian trader with a formidable background, Cala comes to the Eternal City in an effort to bring her family back together after her son was sold into the world of gladiators. She's determined to reunite her children, no matter what it takes. Though she's primarily worked in her native France, you might recognize Martins from projects like the mystery series Death in Paradise and the NBC series American Odyssey

Tom Hughes as Titus

Titus on Those About To Die episode 101

Though both of Vespasian's sons have an eye toward power, Titus is the one with the clearest line to the throne of Rome. As the eldest son, he's the heir apparent to the Flavian dynasty, and he's already working to secure his reputation as a Roman leader on the battlefield. Of course, being the named heir doesn't necessarily mean much when the whole world around you is scheming for power. Best known for his work in historical dramas, Tom Hughes has appeared in series like The GameVictoria, and The English

RELATED: Those About to Die: First Look & Premiere Date for Anthony Hopkins' New Gladiator Series on Peacock

Jojo Macari as Domitian

Domitian on Those About To Die 101

The younger of Vespasian's two sons, Domitian is not expected to succeed his father on the throne, but that hasn't stopped him from seizing power in other ways. While his brother finds glory on the battlefield, Domitian finds it in the arenas of Rome as the city's master of games, organizing gladiatorial contests and races for the amusement of all Romans. He's played by Jojo Macari, whose recent credits include The IrregularsMorbius, and Masters of the Air.

Moe Hashim as Kwame

Moe Hashim as Kwame in Those About To Die

Moe Hashim, who you'll probably recognize from Ted Lasso, plays Cala's son Kwame, a Numidian fighter and lion tracker who was sold into life as gladiator, and now must find a way to survive the combat of the arena. It's a hard, potentially deadly life, but Kwame has something to fight for: a chance to reunite with his family if he's able to survive.

Johannes Johanneson as Viggo

Viggo and Kwame on Those About To Die 105

As he enters gladiator training, Kwame meets a number of other fighters who might prove to be friends or foes. Among them is Viggo, a strong Norse warrior who's an expert with the weapons of the arena. A fighter and operator in the city's underworld, he forms of a bond with Kwame, but how far will those bonds go when your life is on the line? Portraying Viggo is Johannes Johanneson, an Icelandic actor whose credits include Game of ThronesVikings: Valhalla, and The Innocents.

Rupert Penry-Jones as Marsus

Marcus and Antonia on Those About To Die 101

The royal family aren't the only nobles vying for power in Rome, of course. There are also other patricians with their own interests to push, and among them is Marsus. A retired general who now owns a faction of charioteers who compete in races, Marsus commands influence in Rome, and how he applies it could tip the balance of power. The man behind Marsus is Rupert Penry-Jones, who you might recognize from The BatmanThe Strain, and Black Sails.

Gabriella Pession as Antonia

Antonia on Those About To Die Episode 103

Marsus is powerful, but he's not the only wielder of his power. His wife, Antonia, is just as eager to exert her family's influence over Rome. Marsus might be the one who's got all the honors, but Antonia is happy to pull her husband's strings. Antonia is played by Gabriella Pession, who's best known for her work in Italy, as well as RossellaCrossing Lines, and Station 19.

Dimitri Leonidas as Scorpus

Scorpus on Those About To Die Episode 101

Though we might think of competitors in the Roman games as cannon fodder just there for the amusement of Romans, the ones who were good at what they did became celebrities in their own right. Scorpus, a charioteer with a proven track record and a reputation as a winner, is one such hero of the games. He's got the skills to win in the Circus Maximus, and he's also got a mercenary mindset which means that he's happy to be hired on to any team for the right price. You might recognize the actor behind this role, Dimitri Leonidas, from films like The Monuments Men and Rosewater, and series like Riviera

Those About to Die is now streaming on Peacock