Legendary Egyptian queen Cleopatra is one of those subjects that always seem to cause trouble whenever Hollywood dips her into the milky bath of filmmaking. Back in 1963, Joseph L Mankiewicz’ version all but emptied the coffers of 20th Century Fox and became more famous for its troubles than its release. More recently, Steven Soderbergh has been trying to get an epic musical version on its feet, going as far as locking in Hugh Jackman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Ray Winstone to star with members of popular indie rock combo Guided By Voices linked to the score. But that’s been shoved aside in favour of the 17 other projects he’s juggling at the moment and seems no closer to making his To Do list just yet. So producer Scott Rudin will be hoping he has more luck with his own take on Cleo’s story, which he’s developing “for and with” Angelina Jolie.
According to author Stacy Schiff, who talked to USA Today (via The Playlist), Rudin is pushing ahead on the project, based on her book Cleopatra: A Life, which he optioned for Sony back in 2006 when it was just a young, 10-page proposal.
Now the tome is actually on the shelves, and while Schiff was out on the rounds promoting it, she dropped Jolie’s name as a likely star for the adaption, with Rudin confirming that she’s involved in developing the film.
Of course, whether it actually comes to fruition is another matter, especially since Jolie is a woman in demand, and she’s involved with any number of films that have little chance of ever making it out of limbo.
Still, she’s not a bad choice for Cleopatra – she proved she could do the ancient queen shtick in Oliver Stone’s Alexander (whether or not you think the movie worked, she looked the part), so it’s not exactly outside the realms of possibility. When asked who she’d pick as Marc Anthony, Schiff sparked to the distinctly unimaginative choice of Brad Pitt, but surely you lot can do better? Have at it…