Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" Tribeca Film Festival Matches George Lucas with Stephen Colbert: “I’m gonna tear you a new one, George" 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Sony Wants Jolie as Cleopatra, but Can They Land Cameron?

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 15, 2010 at 7:20AM

Sony envisions a mouth-watering Cleopatra franchise with Hollywood's only female action star, Angelina Jolie, as the mighty Egyptian Queen. James Cameron, post-Avatar, is being conjured to take on this project, reports Deadline's Mike Fleming, because he's one of the few directors Sony chairman Amy Pascal would trust with such a risky mammoth-budget 3-D period spectacle. But can she and producer Scott Rudin land him? (The answer I hear is yes).
9
Thompson on Hollywood

Sony envisions a mouth-watering Cleopatra franchise with Hollywood's only female action star, Angelina Jolie, as the mighty Egyptian Queen. James Cameron, post-Avatar, is being conjured to take on this project, reports Deadline's Mike Fleming, because he's one of the few directors Sony chairman Amy Pascal would trust with such a risky mammoth-budget 3-D period spectacle. But can she and producer Scott Rudin land him? (The answer I hear is yes).

Jolie would play the Cleopatra described in Stacy Schiff's book Cleopatra: A Life, from a screenplay by Brian Helgeland (Green Zone, Mystic River, L.A. Confidential). This movie, like D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Cleopatra (the most expensive movie ever made--$300 million in 2010 dollars--that almost wrecked 20th Century Fox), or HBO's mini-series Rome, would be huge in every way: big money, big risk.

Thompson on Hollywood

Jolie is the only marquee star who could remotely pull it off. The actress has expressed an affinity with the character (see quotes below). Writer Schiff, whose biography delves into the "true" Cleopatra, thinks Jolie is perfect for the role and hopes Brad Pitt will play Marc Antony (who wouldn't?). While Jolie is contending with the recent Bosnian protest against her directorial debut, and preps the December 10 opening of her next movie, The Tourist, co-starring Johnny Depp, Cleopatra speculation will continue to run wild.

Cameron ups the ante in more ways than one. While he is prepping an Avatar sequel and The Dive at Fox, his home for decades, he is free to go elsewhere and is producing Guillermo del Toro's Mountains of Madness at another studio, Universal. Cleopatra has long fascinated Hollywood, from Theda Bara and Claudette Colbert bathing in milk to Elizabeth Taylor. Steven Soderbergh was going to do a Cleopatra musical with Catherine Zeta-Jones, which fell apart.

Here's what Jolie said about playing Cleopatra:

"I will play it differently to Elizabeth Taylor, but I could never be as lovely as she was. We are trying to uncover the truth about her as a leader and not just a sex symbol which she really wasn't -- she didn't have many lovers, maybe only two, and they're men she had children with...She was misunderstood and her life story was written wrongly. I always thought her life was very glamorous. Then I read her story and found a different side to her - that she was a mother, leader and an intellect who spoke five languages! Her upbringing also reflected her relationship with Rome -- all that is much more interesting than what she was summed up to be."

[Picture of Cleopatras past: Theda Bara in 1917, Claudette Colbert in 1934, Elizabeth Taylor in 1963, Lyndsey Marshall in 2005-2007 (HBO's Rome)]

Sophia Savage contributed to this article.

This article is related to: Directors, Genres, Headliners, Studios, In Production, TV, James Cameron, Drama, Biopics, Romance, Books, Classics, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Sony/Screen Gems/Sony Pictures Classics, HBO


E-Mail Updates