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Ang Lee Now Reading Script For 'Cleopatra' With Angelina Jolie, Says "It Just Feels Right To Me"

by Kevin Jagernauth
January 9, 2013 2:41 PM
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Cleopatra Ang Lee Angelina Jolie

One could make the case that Ang Lee is a somewhat underappreciated director, simply because his film choices make him a bit of a chameleon. Where other filmmakers tend to stake their claim to a particular milieu, and don't deviate from it too much, Lee has tried it all. From a gay romance, a Civil War-era western, a Woodstock-set comedy, a churning '70s-set domestic drama, an erotic espionage tale and more, to an epic open-sea adventure in this year's Oscar-contending "Life Of Pi," Lee's career has been marked by variety, and a willingness to challenge himself. And that's not about to change.

At the end of last summer, it was reported that David Fincher had exited the long-developing "Cleopatra," that has Angelina Jolie attached to star. At the time, it was noted that Sony was already looking at other potential directors, with Ang Lee on their list of names. And it looks like they've been successful not only in tracking him down, but spurring his interest.

"I'm about to read the script," Lee said to The Hollywood Reporter. "It just feels right to me after all the other types of films I've done. What does it have in common with any of them? They’re all totally different! That’s what makes this perfect.”

Based on Stacy Schiff‘s “Cleopatra: A Life,” the adaptation has a script by Brian Helgeland, and it's told from a distinctly female perspective, delving into the many facets of the historical figure as warrior, strategist, politician and seductress. The project has been toyed with by more than a few big-name helmers -- James Cameron and Paul Greengrass also took a look in past -- but nothing has stuck yet for Sony, Jolie or producer Scott Rudin. Could Lee unlock this project? We'd definitely be interested to see him take this on.

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  • Tina | January 10, 2013 10:39 PMReply

    @CEE, the other directors had scheduling conflicts. Cameron received an offer her could not refuse for the Avatar sequel instead. Fincher is obligated to Leagues under the sea. The fact that top Directors wanted to be apart of this project but couldn't due to scheduling only says that they found this project and Jolie interesting enough to even consider it. I think Ang is an interesting and exciting choice. Look forward to it.

  • Cee | January 10, 2013 7:11 AMReply

    This is just a giant mess waiting to happen. When 3 excelent directors walk away from a project that means something, LOL

  • simon | January 9, 2013 9:25 PMReply

    Yes, even the legendary ( and brash!) Pauline Kael was impressed by Angelina Jolie.
    And, I love Ang Lee as well. Life of Pi is magical.

  • foxy | January 9, 2013 8:41 PMReply

    How exciting! A perfect choice of a director and a leading lady. It's about time for Angelina to show again her acting chops in something that is not an action movie! She was the most promising young actress once.

  • Lily | January 9, 2013 6:37 PMReply

    Love Ang Lee! It would be an even better choice than Finsher

  • kitcon | January 9, 2013 6:36 PMReply

    Lee is the best match of all the directors Sony considered. And apparently Eric Roth just rewrote the script. Definitely looking good.

  • Real | January 9, 2013 5:20 PMReply

    Would love to see Lee take this on.

  • bohmer | January 9, 2013 3:53 PMReply

    I'll just say that I love Ang Lee's work...without bashing others brilliant directors with no good reason to do so.

  • jen | January 9, 2013 3:28 PMReply

    Ang Lee is brilliant, and , yes, versatile. I would take him over David O. Russell and Paul Thomas Anderson any day of the week.

  • Yod | January 9, 2013 9:22 PM

    I'd take any of the above, thanks.

  • Tom | January 9, 2013 3:20 PMReply

    Hmm, sounds like a good fit for Lee. I'm down for it.

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