It would seem that the Queen of the Nile needs a new suitor, at least in directorial terms. Vulture is reporting that David Fincher is no longer in talks to make Sony’s long-gestating Cleopatra project. But don’t go reaching for that asp just yet; the studio has a wish list of replacements drawn up already that includes Ang Lee.
Sony has been looking to get this one moving since at least 2006, when it picked up the rights to Stacy Schiff’s book Cleopatra: A Life at a time when it was a mere whelp of a 10-page outline. Since then, Jolie has entered the project’s orbit to play the central figure and the likes of James Cameron and Paul Greengrass have flirted with directing.
But things moved on apace when Fincher's Benjamin Button collaborator Eric Roth was hired to re-write the script. As recently as the press rounds for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Fincher was still talking up his potential vision for the movie. No reason has been given for him deciding against the film, though he has been busy working on House Of Cards for Netflix. And with a new TV incarnation of Cleopatra on the way, Sony and producer Scott Rudin might want to make sure things keep moving.
As for Lee, he hasn’t yet been approached to take over the job, but the positive buzz on the tricky Life Of Pi means he’s definitely on the radar.