"The Tudors" reign just ended on Showtime and the cable network's next historical drama -- "The Borgias" -- won't premiere until next year, but the bloodlust is already growing.
Jeremy Irons stars as Rodrigo Borgia, the family patriarch, while Holliday Grainger and David Oakes were recently cast as his illegitimate daughter -- the much-married, allegedly incestuous poisoner Lucrezia -- and son, Giovanni (Juan). Joanna Whalley will play Vanossa, one of Rodrigio's mistresses and the acknowledged mother of four (including Lucrezia and Juan) of his seven children.
Shooting in Hungary until the end of July, Oscar-winning writer/director/executive producer Neil Jordan ("The Crying Game") draws comparisons between the Borgia clan and another famous Italian family, the Corleones.
"It is interesting to note that Mario Puzo based 'The Godfather' on the Borgia Family," says Jordan. "It's almost like 'The Godfather' brought home to fifteenth century Rome.
"Except," he adds, "it was far more savage than 'The Godfather' was.''