David Fincher & Eric Roth May Reunite For ‘Cleopatra’ With Angelina Jolie

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 2nd, 2013 at 9:51 am,

Word that David Fincher was a possibility to helm Sony Picture’s upcoming Cleopatra biopic surfaced earlier this year. The acclaimed filmmaker is reportedly still circling the project, which Angelina Jolie remains attached to headline.

Oscar-winner Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, Mystic River, Robin Hood) penned an earlier draft of the film’s screenplay, which is based on Pulitzer Prize-winner Stacy Schiff’s decorated best-selling non-fiction book, “Cleopatra: A Life”. Now, another Academy Award-winning scriber is in negotiations to take a stab at the Cleopatra script.

Variety is reporting that Eric Roth is in “early discussions” to work on the screenplay for Cleopatra. Roth won an Oscar for his Forrest Gump script and has penned (or co-written) many a historical and/or biographical drama before, including The Insider, Ali, Munich, and The Good Shepherd. He also previously collaborated with Fincher on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Fincher’s involvement with Cleopatra is far from a sure thing, at this point. The filmmaker is already committed to directing the House of Cards pilot episode and a new 3D adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Plus, he has the option to direct The Girl Who Played with Fire: a project that Sony is all the more likely to fast-track should Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo adaptation prove to be a sufficient hit (and chances are good it will be) when it arrives in theaters during the 2011 holiday season.

An “epic” biographical picture would be untested territory for Fincher, but one that the technical-perfectionist auteur could easily handle. Plus, Roth’s period drama screenplays tend to be his most widely-respected and generally aren’t criticized for being overly-romanticized or sentimental, like some of his other work (see: his scripts for Forrest Gump and the upcoming Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close adaptation).

That is to say: Fincher should have some solid material to work with, if he does sign on for Cleopatra, which may or may not be designed as a 3D picture (it was back when James Cameron was involved).

angelina jolie1 David Fincher & Eric Roth May Reunite For Cleopatra With Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie as Olympias in ‘Alexander’

Cleopatra will be told from the perspective of its namesake: the famous “last pharaoh” of Ancient Egypt and member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, who was purportedly descended from parents of joint Macedonian (re: Greek) ancestry. The biopic reportedly depicts Cleopatra as “a master strategist in politics and war” and offers a fairly sympathetic portrait of the Egyptian queen who Jolie previously described as “misunderstood… much more interesting than what she was summed up to be.”

There’s arguably the potential for Cleopatra to be a great biopic, assuming that Jolie works under the direction of a meticulous and high-caliber helmer of Fincher’s status. If nothing else, the final product should (hopefully) turn out better than the last Ancient World historical drama that featured Jolie (ie. director Oliver Stone’s widely-panned Alexander).


We will continue to keep you posted on the status of Cleopatra as the story develops.

Source: Variety

TAGS: Cleopatra
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  1. I could care less who is attached to the movie. I would’nt watch it anyway. That role has been done to death. Liz taylor will always come to mind when you think of cleopatra.

  2. Id rather david fincher worked on other fings, like the half dozen interesting sounding projects that have been on his wikipedia forever

  3. I think this will be good, but if Aronofsky wasn’t working on Noah, he would be my first choice.

  4. Hopefully they’ll choose another actress for this. I don’t think Angelina would be able to pull of this role. I’m kind of over watching her, I’d rather see some new talent.

  5. If they make this with Jolie I hope they make her eat a sandwich every day. With the costumes she will be wearing her arms will be exposed, along with her freakish forearm veins. Gain 5-10lbs please!

  6. While I’m a huge fan of Fincher I’m not fond at all of Jolie. I honestly think I have seen 4 maybe 5 movies she’s been in from start to finish. And I’ll sit through almost anything. But like I said I’m a huge fan of Fincher so if he does do this count me in but if it’s just her with a director I’m not a fan of or haven’t seen many of his/her films no thanks.

  7. “Cleopatra” is kind of played out. Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, would be a better avenue to explore, or Artemisia of Halicarnassus. Both strong historical women.

    • Agreed

  8. What do you mean Macedonian (Re: Greek)!
    Cleopatra was Macedonian, from the Ptolomey Dynasty and he was one of the generals of Alexander the Macedonian, stop falsifying the history Hollywood these days fabricartes the whole history through their movies.
    Is that the way to tech the generation with falsified history? Does the movies is an other chapeter of history lesons, to teach humanity the untruth, and spreding propaganda in the way to rewrite history, throu their mainstream media coorperates?

    What does this mean people.
    if they whan to educate the public they should stick to the proper material , not crap and fantasy.
    I’m not impressed with their movies lately there is too much mumbo jumbo.

    • I’m genuinely confused as to what you’re talking about, since, as I understand it, Cleopatra was Macedonian (like I said she was).

      I only added the world “purportedly” because (again, as I understand it) there’s some uncertainty about whether she was of joint Macedonian decent – simply because there’s some uncertainty about who exactly her mother was, from what I’ve gathered.

      • I’m genuinely confused on why people think movies are for teaching and not just entertainment.

    • Well, the early Seleucids and the Ptolemies too thus inherited Greek blod (eg. all the Laodices upto the third Laodice had unnamed Greek mothers) and in turn this blood was passed into the Ptolemaic dynasty after Cleopatra I Syra married Ptolemy V Ephiphanes. Did you know that Cleopatra VII Philopator “the famous Cleopatra” retained her Macedonian dialect which her ancestors had given up because all of Alexander’s colonies were infested with Greeks and not Macedonians. Proud Macedonian Cleopatra.

  9. everybody knows cleopatra was black. why is hollywood srtill doing this?

    • Its amazing to me.. you get Cleopatra starring Angelina Jolie.. or Ghandi starring Ben Kingsley.. you get Robert Downey Jr pretending to be black (complete with makeup) in a movie, and you get Noah Ringer playin Aang in The Last airbender.. you get a white goku in dragonball and the prince of PERSIA was jake gyllenwhatever.. yet when you hear of ideas like a black james bond people flip out and say things like “that would be like having a white guy play Martin Luther King Jr. Or Ghandi”, the latter of which has obviously been accomplished. Hollywood has come a long way undoubtedly, but still has plenty of soul searching to do..

      • Ben Kingsley is half-Indian, Indian is what Ghandi was!

    • Cleopatra was never black, what world do you live in? And changeling has proven that angie can carry any role, so I don’t get what people are complaining about.

      • Not literally black lol he didn’t mean straight out of kenya.. but todays standard of black.. but even so the complaint lies in how hollywood “generalizes” everything to fit a certain image.. we don’t know today what full race cleopatra was.. we know she was of some greek ancestory.. not full.. please do not take my comments offensively, im just pointing out a glaring hollywood trend.

      • And also Gia and Girl, Interrupted.

      • Good post. To summarize: Cleopatra was not black; Angie was born to play Cleopatra.

    • What facts would you cite to back up your confirmation? Cleopatra was not black, elite Macedonian would not mix, maybe, at most, she was not as white as Angelina is, but definetely no black.

  10. From Egypt, Egyptian are not black ugly womans

    • Black women are not ugly.. and angelina jolie is not egyptian

    • Lol sure buddy. Try coming back and posting when you aren’t 4 years old

    • Wow, this post is still up after 1 day?

      So all black women are ugly now? Halle Berry, Vanessa Williams, Pam Grier, Zoe Saldana, Thandie Newton, etc…; ever hear of them?

      • Please, Zoe Saldana is ugly and she claims to be Hispanic but we all know that she is more black.

  11. Cleopatra was not Egyptian dumbass, she was from the Ptolemaic Dynasty and they were Greek

    • okay seriously?.. name calling is not needed.. it.. it actually kind of hurt my feelings.. and if your telling me for a fact you know Cleopatra’s full heritage then your wrong.. I know what we all know today and that is we DON’T know the full heritage of her mother and grandmother.. yes she has greek blood.. and for the sake of the argument angelina jolie isn’t greek either.. so stop yelling at me

    • okay seriously?.. name calling is not needed.. it.. it actually kind of hurt my feelings.. and if your telling me for a fact you know Cleopatra’s full heritage then your wrong.. I know what we all know today and that is we DON’T know the full heritage of her mother and grandmother.. yes she has greek blood.. and for the sake of the argument angelina jolie isn’t greek either.. so stop yelling at me.

      • Right Darth you make great points. I have read a few recent articles by archeologists and historians that question cleopatras greek heritage. Listen even if she was Macedonian she was still born in Egypt and would probably have looked more egyptian then greek….Unless of course it was a pure bloodline (aka incest) (which is highly unlikely). I think someone like zoe saldana or jordana brewster would be a much better pick then angelina jolie…who is clearly not of Macedonian or Greek heritage.

        • Do you want Zoe Saldana who looks black and says she’s Latina play a role where she does not even have the racial features of the character? I don’t think Zoe Saldana would fit for Nefertiti and yes we know nearly her full heritage. She was a quarter Persian and rest Macedonian and a little Greek like 5-10% and if you don’t believe I have explained her parent’s origins (they are misunderstood today as “illegitimate”) in “Was Cleopatra Black – Topix”. That is if you have a little knowledge that she was a Ptolemy. Don’t say it’s s*** without knowing who the Ptolemies, the Cleopatras and the Berenices were. And her ancestry is a lot complicated, there are more than seven Cleopatras and numerous Ptolemies. Read it before putting an untalented actress like Zoe to replace Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie just ’cause she is “black-looking”.

        • Please give us specific citations for the articles you mention.

  12. Does jordan brewster rule like Greeks?

  13. what does all confuse you though, When Alexander general ruled Ptolomey after the death of the great king, there where egption people living among th eMacedonianS, even thought the Macedonian been th erulling class at thAt time prior to deviding the kingdom into few segments.Selevckid ruled Persia and Izreal, note that doesn’t mean there warent Jews and Palestinins living among the Macedonians.Kasandar Alex cosin ruled the Homeland with Olympius, been the most resetfall and kning, he killed all the ruling families and ordered to stone the queen Olympius to death.

    When people insisting this that, black white doesn’t make andy sence and you can’t djuge that.
    The truth is greeks are Dannanians and Egyptinas refugees after the Pharaogh Sosetris II expelld them from the upper Egyption kingdom, becuase Danaj commited mureder through his 10 douhgeters by killing all of the ten kings of the last egyptian Pharaogh.. When they arrived to the shores of the Balkans were black with white robes at the shores of Argos.
    They encountered white blond tall race with blue and green eyes there and there king names was Pelasg.

    Now if you ask me about Cleapatra VII shes was white and pure, from the Macedonian linage coming from the Ptolomeic dynasty, that didnf agree with Alexander to mix the population, only wanted pure Macedonian.
    Macedonina back in ancient times and now are white race and they are the mian group tha tspread from the perent Pelasgin race, from this race as born the Veneti, vind, Vindhic,that is the Slavjanic race today, still living in ther teritory from there ancsestors, that din’t come nor as invaded or occupiers. The massive migration took place after the Trojan war, thats when the invader come and made them selfs auchtotonic, and the oboriginies where declered invaders
    enough said

  14. As Cleopatra was Greek Macedonian let the Greeks than play that role not woman with race color

  15. cIeopatra 2013 Justin OIaff Smith CIeopatra 2013 Justin OIaff Smith – cinema screens may see this production in IMAX if fortunate you IikeIy to see me on screen in this aIthough casting is not finaI. Due for reIease in 2013 IikeIy to see a romantic take on the young ruIer “we want to discover new sides to her shapeIy image” an emotionaI tie that wiII keep u coming back. IikeIy to be marketed in a modern take on an historic era “you wont feeI that you watching history” Captivating – Sony Pictures musicaI 3D Director: David Fincher (rumored) AngeIina JoIie

  16. Why are you using a WHITE actress to portray a BLACK queen, Cleopatra? Why not Kerry Washington or a modern day Cleopatra Jones?