Ang Lee Interested in Directing CLEOPATRA Starring Angelina Jolie

     January 9, 2013


The long-gestating biopic Cleopatra may have finally found a director, and it’s a good ‘un.  The project has been in development for a number of years with Angelina Jolie attached to star as the Egyptian queen.  Both James Cameron and Paul Greengrass flirted with the idea of directing before ultimately moving on, and most recently David Fincher was attached to the project before dropping off last summer.  The pic has a script by Eric Roth (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), based on Stacy Schiff’s book Cleopatra: A Life, and now another top-tier filmmaker is eyeing the gig: Ang Lee.  Hit the jump for more details.

cleopatra-book-coverSpeaking with THR, Lee confirmed that he’s interested in helming the pic:

“I’m about to read the script. 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.”

Lee is currently in the awards conversation for his stunning adaptation of Life of Pi, and I’d have to agree that Cleopatra just feels right.  The filmmaker is the epitome of versatility  and I’d love to see what he could bring to this character-centric, period Egyptian epic.  Jolie is still attached to star, and Scott Rudin (No Country for Old Men, The Social Network) is producing for Sony Pictures.  There don’t appear to be any firm negotiations in place, but I for one am hoping this works out.

Here’s a synopsis for Schiff’s book Cleopatra: A Life:

Her palace shimmered with onyx and gold but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first and poisoned the second; incest and assassination were family specialties. She had children by Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, two of the most prominent Romans of the day. With Antony she would attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled both their ends. Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Her supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order. [Amazon]

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