The idea of directing a movie about Cleopatra, with Angelina Jolie starring, has certainly fired up the interest of some top directors, with the likes of Paul Greengrass, James Cameron and more recently David Fincher all flirting with the project. However after Fincher dropped out last summer, the film has been waiting for someone to pick it up again.
Now THR reports that Ang Lee is showing interest, with the director himself stating that, “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.”
Of course if he hasn’t read the script, he’s a long way from actually signing on, but I’m sure there are a lot of people who’d like to see what an Ang Lee directed Cleopatra would look like. Brian Helgeland wrote the first draft of that screenplay, before Eric Roth stepped in to do a rewrite in late 2011, working from Stacy Schiff‘s biography Cleopatra: A Life.
Producer Scott Rudin has previously described the film as, “It is a completely revisionist Cleopatra, a much more grown-up sophisticated version… She’s not a sex kitten, she’s a politician, strategist, warrior. In the Joseph Mankiewicz movie, Elizabeth Taylor is a seductress, but the histories of Cleopatra have been written by men. This is the first to be written by a woman. It felt like such a blow-the-doors-off-the-hinges idea of how to tell it, impossible to resist.”
Even if Lee signs on, it may be tough to get the greenlight on the film, as it’s bound to be expensive and historical epic tend to be financially risky endeavours.