Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins Team Up for Epic Retelling of Cleopatra
According to Deadline, Wonder Woman duo Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins are re-teaming for a big screen re-telling of Cleopatra. Paramount Pictures won an auction for the epic, which is set to be scripted by Laeta Kalogridis (Alita: Battle Angel, Shutter Island).
Gal Gadot came up with the idea and will star in the film and produce via her Pilot Wave Motion Pictures alongside Jaron Varsano, Jenkins and Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven. Kalogridis will serve as executive producer. Per the report, the actress took part in a number of Zoom pitch meetings. Paramount won the rights to the film “created an urgency to mount a big budget theatrical release film as quickly as possible,” and set Kalogridis to begin writing immediately.
Cleopatra has enjoyed many film adaptations, the most noteworthy being the 1963 film starring Elizabeth Taylor and directed by Joseph Mankiewicz. At the time, that film was considered the most expensive film ever produced, but went on to win four Oscars and a hefty (for its time) $57.7 million in the United States. Though, it very nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox.
Also of note (and featured in the Deadline article), is Sony Pictures’ own long delayed Cleopatra project from producers Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin, which has seen a number of high profile stars, including Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga, and directors, notably James Cameron and David Fincher, come and go over the years. Deadline reports that Eric Roth is currently working on it and speculates that Galdot’s project could result in something of a “footrace” to the big screen.
Cleopatra was the renowned Queen of Egypt who ascended to the throne via her personal relationship with Caesar. She later became intwined with Marc Antony — a relationship that ultimately led to her undoing. It is said she died via suicide by asp, though the records are all over the map in this regard.
Gadot and Jenkins are currently sitting on Wonder Woman 1984, a film that has endured a number of release date shifts due to the coronavirus, but is currently slated to hit theaters December 25.