Ang Lee Wants to Direct ‘Cleopatra’ Starring Angelina Jolie

Published 2 years ago by

ang lee cleopatra angelina jolie Ang Lee Wants to Direct Cleopatra Starring Angelina Jolie

Sony’s Cleopatra – based on Stacy Schiff’s “Cleopatra: A Life” – was continuously linked to a high-profile director for three years, prior to David Fincher detaching himself last summer. Oscar-winner Ang Lee immediately entered the conversation as a possible replacement, but we haven’t heard anything else on the subject since then… until now.

Lee’s searching for his next directing project and believes Cleopatra could make for a strong addition to his varied resume. Hence, he’s (finally) going to read the script and determine whether or not this is worth devoting around 2-3 years of his life to making (after spending some four years putting together Life of Pi).

Pi is a surefire bet to secure a Best Picture Oscar nomination tomorrow, when the announcement is made. Similarly, Lee’s all-but assured yet another Best Director nomination, as foreshadowed by him landing Director Guild of America and Golden Globes nods. Thus, it means something that the filmmaker (who was recognized by the Academy for Brokeback Mountain) says the Cleopatra project “feels right” to him.

Here is the full Lee quote (via THR):

“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.”

Indeed, Lee has never been satisfied to work as a niche storyteller or auteur who can be easily-pigeonholed. Over the past two decades, he’s directed a Jane Austen adaptation (Sense and Sensibility), Civil War drama (Ride with the Devil), mythical Chinese martial arts epic (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), an experimental comic book movie (Hulk) and erotic WW II espionage-drama (Lust, Caution) among other diverse genre products. That’s to say: Cleopatra is an obvious choice in the sense that it’s, well… not at all.

angelina jolie1 Ang Lee Wants to Direct Cleopatra Starring Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie as Olympias in ‘Alexander’

Jokes aside, Cleopatra fits Lee’s sensibilities for a handful of reasons. Perhaps chief among them is that Lee’s good with crafting engaging female characters and that’s called for in the script by Oscar-winner Brian Helgeland (Mystic River, Robin Hood). It is said to follow Schiff’s lead by portraying the famous last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt – and member of the Ptolemaic dynasty - as a cunning warrior and master politician, among other things.

Moreover, the project is shaping up to be a massive (re: ambitious) ancient world tentpole production covering Cleopatra’s eventful life. If there’s one thing that Lee posses an over-abundance of, it’s the artistic ambition necessary to meet that challenge.

We’ll keep you up-to-date on Cleopatra as more information is released.


Source: THR

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Cleopatra
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  1. They’d have to force feed Jolie for several weeks before sehe can even think about portraying that role.

  2. Sounds like it could be a great movie already.

  3. Didn’t she retire from acting? Thankfully?

    • No clue but if true then that’s a shame, I quite liked her.

    • Wasnt she filming Maleficent for Disney or something…

  4. After Life of Pi I think he can pull off anything

  5. Ryan Gosling cast Ryan Gosling, Lee!!!

  6. I’m way into a Cleopatra film directed by Lee, but Angelina Jolie, noooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. So..Angelina Thinks she can pass for Greek?



  8. I’d definitely watch this because of Lee… (and yes, wasn’t going to because ofJolie haha)

  9. I’m not going to get all into the skin color thing about Cleopatra because people that argument is old and nobody really tells the truth these days. But don’t choose Angelina please! At least get someone a bit ethnic.

    • ^ This! Cleopatra would’ve been Greek + African.

      At least Jolie’s a bit exotic-looking. If not her, who might be another choice?

  10. Angelina Jolie as Cleopatra? I would’ve been excited like 10 years ago, but today they will need a lot of prosthetics and CGI.

  11. I’ll see anything Ang Lee is involved with

  12. Um hello but this is Angelina Jolie’s project so yes, Angelina as Cleopatra. She bought the rights. She was always going to star.

  13. I think Cleopatra is going to be a good movie. I’m an Egyptian actor who lives in California and would like to join the casting team if they need me.


  14. Hi,
    Mr. Ang Lee,
    This is Sharmistha Das from Kolkata,West Bengal,India. Sir, the film Life of Pi has highly impressed me and i think ‘Cleopatra’ would certainly be a magnificient project with Angelina Jolie as the main character and would receive a great response. Sir, i am a fresher aspiring to establish myself as an actress and i would like to be a part of your project. So if you think you can give me a chance, please feel free to email me.