An archive of the work of television writer-producer Daniel Knauf


Developed in collaboration with the legendary John Milius, like his HBO series ROME, the series is essentially an “upstairs/downstairs” story set in the ancient world. 

PHARAOH featured a broad ensemble of disparate characters--from the squalid streets of ancient Cairo to the offices of scheming bureaucrats to the vast studios of the architects and artisans, the inscrutable and ruthlessly ambitious priests in breathtaking temples and the royal court in the majestic chambers of Pharaoh's palace.

The challenge was to humanize the cast; to transform exotic figures heretofore rendered in ancient stone into living flesh and blood, with hopes, dreams and aspirations accessible to a contemporary audience.

The “upstairs” stories featured priests, kings and notables based on actual historical figures. In contrast, the “downstairs” story was driven by commoners, reflecting the prosaic lives of average citizen and based upon the latest archeological research, which  is even now painting a new, utterly compelling picture of daily life in ancient Egypt.

Due to the fact that the Nile River and surrounding desert regions are so environmentally unique, it was determined that the entire production would, by necessity, have to be filmed in Egypt. 

Contacts with government officials were made and we were assured full cooperation and unprecedented access to historic locations.

The project was on the brink of marketing for U.S. distribution, with a full bible, the weight of an international film-fund and two completed episode scripts when, in January of 2011, the Egyptian revolution occurred and threw the nation into a protracted chaos. The project was consequently abandoned.

Oh well, as the philosophers say, "Shit happens."