At one point James Cameron was circling the idea of of directing Angelina Jolie's 3D film adaptation of Cleopatra, based on the biography, Cleopatra: A Life, by Stacy Schiff. Cameron ended up not taking on the project, but producer Scott Rudin says he's close to to pinning down a director to take it on, and it might end up being Paul Greengrass.
Deadline reports that "Rudin isn't spilling but we hear that the filmmakers "like the idea" of the much respected Paul Greengrass although his name hasn't even been mentioned yet to Angie who's attached."
This is all speculation right now, and Greengrass could easily end up not directing the film, but it would be cool if he did. Sony Pictures decided to fast-track its PG-13 and 3D Cleopatra project after screenwriter Bran Helgeland wrote what was is being described as a "brilliant script deserving of epic treatment" all about "what the Romans took from Egypt". In a previous interview here's what Jolie had to say 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.
Jolie is the perfect actress for this role, and if Greengrass ends up directing the film it will be really interesting to see what he does with it. He has a signature to his filmmaking craft, and I'm curious to see how it would translate to a 3D period film like this. If he does come on board, who knows, he might end up changing his style for it.
What do you all think about the possibility of Greengrass directing Cleopatra?
Here's description of the book that the movie will be based off of:
The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt.
Her palace shimmered with onyx, garnets, and gold, but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator.
Though her life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first when both were teenagers. She poisoned the second. Ultimately she dispensed with an ambitious sister as well; incest and assassination were family specialties. Cleopatra appears to have had sex with only two men. They happen, however, to have been Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, among the most prominent Romans of the day. Both were married to other women. Cleopatra had a child with Caesar and--after his murder--three more with his protégé. Already she was the wealthiest ruler in the Mediterranean; the relationship with Antony confirmed her status as the most influential woman of the age. The two would together attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled their ends. Cleopatra has lodged herself in our imaginations ever since.
Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Shakespeare and Shaw put words in her mouth. Michelangelo, Tiepolo, and Elizabeth Taylor put a face to her name. Along the way, Cleopatra's supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff here boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order. Rich in detail, epic in scope, Schiff 's is a luminous, deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life.