Before James Cameron signed up to direct Avatar 2 and 3 back-to-back he was flirting with the idea of directing an adaptation of the Stacy Schiff book Cleopatra: A Life with Angelina Jolie in the lead role. With Cameron out Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum) was apparently in discussions, however now it appears recent Oscar nominee David Fincher is being eyed to direct.
According to Deadline producer Scott Rudin, who also produced The Social Network, is talking to Fincher about making the movie, however it will all be a matter of timing. Fincher is currently working on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire, already has a script in the works. He is also attached to Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo.
Rudin recently described this new take on Cleopatra as “a much more grown-up sophisticated version”:
“She’s not a sex kitten, she’s a politician, strategist, warrior. In the Joseph Mankiewicz movie, Elizabeth Taylor is a seductress, but the histories of Cleopatra have been written by men. This is the first to be written by a woman. It felt like such a blow-the-doors-off-the-hinges idea of how to tell it, impossible to resist. We’re pretty close. A lot of directors want to do it, but there is only a handful we’ll make it with.”
I wouldn’t say Jolie is perfect for the role, as she probably doesn’t look anything like Cleopatra, but at the moment she is the only actress who can get a studio to put $100+ million behind her. Sony aims to get the Egyptian epic off the ground later this year, so they should be signing a director pretty soon. Fincher would be an interesting choice.