Sometime you’re having a quiet weekend when all hell breaks loose. At least as far as movie news goes. That how things are at the moment. Seemingly out of nowhere, not only was a new Cleopatra film announced, but it’s instantly set to become one of the hottest properties out there. Part of that has to do with the future of big budgeted films being in flux. The other, pertains to the project getting Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot back together, for a major project.
Deadline broke the massive news on Sunday, with a few wrinkles to make note of. Apparently, Paramount won the bid for the rights, as they’re looking to insure this movie gets made quickly. With the current state of theatrically released films, including Wonder Woman 1984, that seems to be a weird decision. Regardless, having Jenkins and Gadot onboard, guarantees this turns heads. Gadot’s name puts a diverse set of butts in seats. As for Jenkins, her involvement helps solidify that this Cleopatra will be a female forward and focused take. Handling screenplay duties will be Laeta Kalogridis, who’s credits include Alexander, Shutter Island and most recently Alita: Battle Angel.
What’s unknown at this time, is the direction the story will take. A modern Cleopatra film has gone through many hands the last few years. Names like Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga were bandied about previously, in the lead role. Supposedly, a script has been passed around for ages, with Eric Roth apparently hammering away at the latest draft, when the project was with Sony. Given the desire to make this an epic, there are many points through her stories history to focus on. Attempting to toss it all under wonder one banner could be a mistake. Hopefully that’s something that has a former answer in the future.
The big cloud that looks over this production, isn’t just the safe precautions that need to be in place, but the 1963 classic, Cleopatra. Joseph Mankiewicz directed what is the definition of a true epic and example of how those endeavours can go so wrong. The Elizabeth Taylor led picture was a cursed production. It’s budget was hugely inflated, due to location changes, sets needing to be built twice and famously Taylor and Richard Burton’s accents. While it did win 4 Oscars on 9 nominations, it almost destroyed 20th Century Fox. It’s also 243 minutes long. As long as Jenkins, Gadot and Kalogridis can stay under that and not destroy a studio in the process, they might have a potential hit on their hands.
More on all things concerning Cleopatra, as soon as more come to light. Currently, Wonder Woman 1984 is still set to open on December 25, 2020.