For the longest time, Sony Pictures has been trying to get a Cleopatra movie off the ground. Directors like Paul Greengrass, David Fincher, Denis Villeneuve and many more have been linked to the project over the years. But now a new Cleopatra movie is in the works over at Paramount Pictures with Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot slated to reteam with the DC Comics superhero franchise director Patty Jenkins.
Deadline has the news on Paramount Pictures wining an intense bidding war for the new Cleopatra movie, beating out the likes of Universal, Warner Bros, Netflix and Apple and marking the first major deal struck Paramount’s president Emma Watts. Wonder Woman producer Charles Roven will produce through Atlas Entertainment along with Gadot and her Pilot Wave Motion Pictures collaborator Jaron Varsano. Jenkins will also produce herself.
Writing the script will be Alita: Battle Angel and Shutter Island scribe Laeta Kalogridis. She’ll also act as executive producer, and she was a key part of the pitch that was done along with Gadot over several virtual meetings with the various studios. Gadot put the project together herself and enlisted Kalogridis to research and write the script. Kalogridis already has the perfect epic experience since she also wrote Alexander with Oliver Stone.
Cleopatra is one of the most famous people in ancient history. Cleopatra could speak various languages and served as the dominant ruler in the three co-regencies she was part of with her father and two brothers. Her cunning strategy in both negotiations and war came as a result of being the daughter of Ptolemy, a leader in Alexander the Great’s army. As the lover of both John Caesar and Marc Antony, Cleopatra influenced many decisions that helped shaped the ancient world.
This will be a huge epic for the big screen, but much like Sony’s long-gestating Cleopatra project, there’s a chance that this will take awhile to get off the ground. I can’t imagine a blockbuster epic about Cleopatra is going to be easy to put together during the coronavirus pandemic. But Hollywood has slowly been getting back to work, and if Marvel is gearing up to start shooting movies soon, then anything is possible. At the very least, it’s rather exciting to see such a big movie package come together with women directing, producing, and starring, even with studios find themselves in a precarious situation as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
There’s also a chance this could spark a face-off between Paramount and Sony, because the latter supposedly has Forrest Gump writer Eric Roth rewriting the script that’s been kicking around for at least a decade, so maybe we’ll see dueling Cleopatra films in our future.
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