7 user 15 critic

Il primo re (2019)

Romulus and Remus, two shepherds and loyal brothers, end up taking part to a journey that will lead one of them to be the founder of the greatest nation ever seen. However, the fate of the chosen one will pass from killing his own brother.


Matteo Rovere


Filippo Gravino (story), Francesca Manieri (story) | 4 more credits »
1,791 ( 1,082)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alessandro Borghi ... Remo
Alessio Lapice ... Romolo
Fabrizio Rongione ... Lars
Massimiliano Rossi Massimiliano Rossi ... Tefarie
Tania Garribba Tania Garribba ... Satnei
Lorenzo Gleijeses Lorenzo Gleijeses ... Purtnas
Vincenzo Crea Vincenzo Crea ... Elaxantre
Max Malatesta Max Malatesta ... Veltur
Fiorenzo Mattu Fiorenzo Mattu ... Mamercus
Gabriel Montesi Gabriel Montesi ... Adieis
Antonio Orlando Antonio Orlando ... Erenneis
Vincenzo Pirrotta Vincenzo Pirrotta ... Cai
Michael Schermi ... Arant
Ludovico Succio Ludovico Succio ... Marce
Martinus Tocchi Martinus Tocchi ... Lubces


Romulus and Remus are 18-year-old shepherds brothers living in peace near the Tiber river. Convinced that he is bigger than gods' will, Remus believes that he is meant to become king of the city he will found together with his brother. But their tragic destiny is already written. This incredible journey will lead the two brothers to creating one of the greatest empires the world has ever seen. Written by X

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History




Italy | Belgium



Release Date:

31 January 2019 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Romulus & Remus: The First King See more »

Filming Locations:

Manziana, Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »


Box Office


€8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€930,075 (Italy), 4 February 2019, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The director Matteo Rovere used minimum CGI, prefering prosthetic makeup and stuntmen works. See more »

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User Reviews

Deserves attention
31 January 2019 | by t-viktor212See all my reviews

This film isn't as striking as Revenant or as thematically deep as Valhalla Rising, but it sure gets close.

I didn't choose to mention those two titles casually. Il Primo Re uses a similar range of storytelling devices: minimal dialogues, stunning visuals, a very realistic environment, metaphysical experiences. This provides the film a very immersive style, that can be perceived probably a bit slow, but that also elevates the release's quality.

The interesting part is that Il Primo Re reinterprets a well-known myth but stays faithful to its roots, and merges is with realistic historical settings. The villages, armaments, religions depicted mostly are very close to those that could've been during the pre-roman period.Obviously Il Primo Re mustn't be considered a historically accurate film, but it certainly gives the feel of that archaic period.

What I particularly appreciated was the choice of using latin as language. It is not the first time this happens, an example is Mel Gibson's The Passion, but in The Passion the pronunciation that was used was the scolastic one, which was developed in the middle ages (and I personally know that from my high-school studies of the language). In Il Primo Re they managed to use the original pronunciation of latin, and I believe probably they adopted an archaic vocabulary and sintax, which is admirable.

Criticisms can be drawn: the final climax is not that huge as the build up suggests (let's not forget italian films have a much more limited budget), it doesn't manage to be as thematically deep as the films I've mentioned earlier and sometimes it drastically shifts to being an action movie. I personally acknowledge these negatives, but still feel that the positive aspects outweight the negative ones. This film is so far unique in italian cinema, it definitely attempts at being something new, and therefore I think it deserves consideration

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