David Fincher Being Eyed To Direct ‘Cleopatra’ Movie

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 19th, 2013 at 1:14 pm,

Sony Pictures has struggled to nail down an acclaimed filmmaker for its in-development 3D Cleopatra biopic, with Angelina Jolie attached to portray the titular Egyptian Queen. James Cameron showed interest, but is moving ahead with his Avatar sequels instead, while rumored candidate Paul Greengrass will next be directing his own historical drama, Memphis.

Now The Social Network director David Fincher is reportedly being considered for the job, which would reunite him once again with Scott Rudin – the producer of The Social Network and Fincher’s upcoming Girl With the Dragon Tattoo adaptation.

This new Cleopatra project would be based on Stacy Schiff’s best-seller (and Pulitzer Prize-winner) “Cleopatra: A Life”, with a script penned by Oscar-winner Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential). Deadline says that there’s been discussion about hiring another writer to rework the screenplay, and possibly not shooting in 3D now that Cameron is no longer attached to direct – but that it’s all strictly preliminary at this point, and nothing’s official.

Fincher has the option to helm the Dragon Tattoo sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and is set to direct the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remake for Disney at some point. Sony reportedly wants the Cleopatra movie to move forward in the near future, so the Fight Club director’s involvement depends in part on what he selects as his next move, once post-production on Dragon Tattoo is complete.

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra David Fincher Being Eyed To Direct Cleopatra Movie

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra.

The life of Cleopatra was previously brought to…er, life under the direction of Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1963, in an infamously extravagant production that featured Elizabeth Taylor as the titular queen – a production which ultimately bombed at the box office. Sony’s new film would likely be an expensive undertaking as well, which accounts for why the studio is looking to bring A-list talent onboard, both in front of and behind the camera.

Rudin has described Cleopatra in the new film as “not a sex kitten [but] a politician, a strategist, a warrior.” Historical events are reportedly portrayed from the titular character’s perspective in her new biopic, and Jolie has spoken out before about how she views the Egyptian queen as “misunderstood… much more interesting than what she was summed up to be.”

It sounds as though the Cleopatra biopic will approach its subject from a more thoughtful perspective, and Jolie certainly has the ability to portray a fiercely independent and capable regal figure (ignorning her thankless role in Alexander, that is). With a director of Fincher’s caliber onboard, the film could be something memorable.

As for the casting of an American actress like Jolie in the role of the Egyptian Cleopatra… I leave that for you readers to discuss in the comments section below. icon wink David Fincher Being Eyed To Direct Cleopatra Movie

Source: Deadline

TAGS: Cleopatra
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  1. I read “Julius Caesar”, by Phillip Freeman (great book). And they she was described as being incredibly intelligent.

    I never understood why she was portrayed as badly as she has been in the past. Elizabeth Taylor’s version was merely a product of the acting at that time. But she was also portrayed as a drugged out slut in HBO’s “Rome”.

    Granted, she did think of herself as being a god, but I think there was a LOT more depth to her than how Hollywood has characterized her in the past.

    Anyway, if they get this historically correct, it could be awesome.

  2. One can only hope Jolie doesn’t affect the bizarre “Russian” accent (or some imagined “exotic” variation thereof) she adopted in Alexander.

  3. Um wasnt cleopatra a teenager…and call me crazy but i thought she was of north african descent. Dont get me wrong a capable actress im ok with regardless of skin color but come on Angelina jolie is almost 40….

    ok im sorry i dident read the whole article: this is fiction. so commence with your movie hollywood.

    • She was Egyptian obviously, but was from the ptolemy dynasty, which actually stemmed from Alexander the Great. His closest advisors split the kingdoms he conquered after his death. One of them was named Ptolemy, he was Greek, but took over Egypt as King Ptolemy. The Ptolemaics ruled Egypt for nearly 300 years. They were nationals of Egypt, but their blood was Greek. Angelina’s skin tone is not too light to be Greek.

      Also, yes, Cleopatra was once a teenager (lol), but she certainly did not die in her teens. Her legecy would not have lived on this long, if she had. She was nearly 40 at death.

  4. As much as I despise Jolie and think how disgusting she is, I think she’d be one of the only actresses to aptly portray this role.

    • I wonder why you dispise NOW Angelina Jolie and said she was disgusting. I would have agreed with you 10 years ago when she was with Billy Bob all over the papers, smooching and covered with tatoos with that attitude. But even then she was with ONE guy for a long time and married to him. She was not in bed with EVERY guy she shot a film with. But, boy, did she cleaned up nicely since then. I did not like her then although I appreciated her as an actress in Gia, Girl Interrupted but did not like the attitude and the looks. BUT!!You have to be fair. Since she adopted this tiny boy in 2001 something happened to her. It brought some inner beauty from within which shined through and she THEN became beautiful – she softened somehow, her smile, her whole impression changed and she looked more spiritual, even she started dressing more womanly. She found as, she said, her calling which she has been looking for years and was lost – she saw other people’s lives, problems, suffering but their strength and beautiful moral values too. She wanted to help and that made her life meaningful – to help unfortunate people, displaced by disasters or politics of their countries in which they did not have any saying. And the motherhood which happened for her by chance also made her life full and meaningful That was ALL before Brad who at that time as he said honestly himself recently ( and got eaten alive for it) he was living sun-kissed’hunk life of a Hollywood rich and famous celebrity with his wife then, who was like him ( and unfortunately she is still there, no progress whatsoever but only in more money and more fame . Life which was vain, focused on the fame and material thing, portraying a “happy” Hollywood couple, nothing of substance. He said it, he craved a different life, a meaningful one but did not know where to find it; but it certainly was not in his marriage or in the public eyes in front of thousands screaming his name. And he got lucky – he met Angelina, by chance, who was already one step ahead of him. And he was the one to go after her not the other way around because he was fascinated with her independent spirit and purposeful life. And then he discovered not only fatherhood and what is to have a big and colorful family but to be a humanitarian and live and help others. As Rachel Weiz recently said ” when you meet your soul mate, it is not a choice, it is a must to be with him’her” It is true. If we all have our soul mate “mail ordered and delivered” nobody would divorce. YOU meet him or her not when and were you expect. Some never have the chance for it. So you go and marry someone whom you like and when you want to have a family. You do think and truly believe that person is good for it. And then it turns out it is not and you carry on for some time( some people for all their lives) and bottle up not only for the other person not to get hurt but what others would say. Especially if you are famous. See, I am amazed that the papers still mention Jennifer Aniston every time they talk about Brad as this was the first divorced couple. EVERY DAY actors meet on set and fell in love and divorce and nobody mentions their OLD spouses. Why so unfair to Angelina. THEY HAVE A FAMILY, their kids are grown up already and soon will read themselves that their father’s name is mentioned nota with their mother when they see their parents love each other and are together for years and years, but with some other woman who he was involved with with the signature of marriage BEFORE they were even born. It is a shame.Especially now when everybody is cheering up for Jennifer and Justin and she STOLE him from his 14 years living=in girl friend!! 14 years!! They were not ups for a little while. it is like God is saying” see it could happen to you” and it did. Jennifer loves the spot light, the fashion, the money, the easy fame with easy role in a “same type” romantic comedy not far from her Rachel sure thing. And now she is happier than ever by finding somebody exactly like her. They were not a good match from the beginning with Brad and the TIME proved that. He got what he wanted but you still lynch him for it, and she got what she really wanted and you cheer for her. I do not understand it.

      • yay, love this. So true. I will tell you why people get on the Jen band wagon–because Angelina has far superior beauty. That is all people saw, that Brad left Jen for a more beautiful woman. The fact that Angelina was a UN embassador, humanitarian, adoptive mother, and more than likely a beautiful person inside did not even occur.

  5. Angelina is 35! That is hardly 40. The “Russian” accent was Macedonian aka East European which she was ASKED for the part and as devoted professional she is to stay true to the character yes, she adopted it. No reason to have it now. Also she is an Oscar winning actress, 2time Golden Globe winner and a SAG award winner…Anymore proof of good acting and ability. It seems everybody nowadays forgot that she is a talented and very versatile actress. She could do not only action for what they mention her always, but serious drama too for which she has been nominated twice for an Oscar recently. The only thing which prevented her now from winning is the overblown by the tabloids celebrity and gossips relationship with Brad. This relationship actually hurt her career as a serious actor. When she was “wild” thy still gave her props for her good acting. When now she cleaned up sooooooo nicely they trash and trash her for years, enough. People cannot go beyond her beauty (and reference with Brad) and also beyond the tabloids garbage to look at her work. So many paparazzi have earned their living over the last already 7years just by inventing “scandalous”, “sensational “news” about them. Nobody cares to see ALL her movies and be honest to realize how good she is, not just a pretty face what they are trying to portray her. And I am not talking even about how good mother, faithful partner to Brad and compassionate and active humanitarian since 2001 she has been. I am talking a mature, experienced and serious about the craft actor who took this role EXACTLY because it is a different take on Cleopatra – not the sex kitten, the seductress which the beautiful Liz Taylor portrayed. But the smart, fearless, intelligent ruler, warior, sole head of the most powerful state in ancient time. The most powerful and strong and interesting woman of that time, which is quite a challenge, but Angie is fearless in her roles anyway. This time the focus is on more serious things. The author of the book is a Pulitzer prize winner, the producer is one of the best in the business Scott Rudin. If they put their trust in her as they both say the project is developed with her in mind what is it here to doubt. Maybe Jennifer Aniston for you to make you happy???, If there is somebody to pull this off, it is going to be Angelina. She has incredible work ethic, she is incredibly intelligent (this are Clint Eastwood’s words) and she has the talent. The haters are trashing the project because of her even before it is under way, so you cannot please them, but cars what they are going to say, do they even get the movies and do they have the taste for good movie, good acting and so on?? I bet even no that this movie will pass the 500mln mark WORLD WIDE not in the hateful US. because people love her for what she really is not for some petty comments in the tabloids or stupid things in her youth over 10 years ago of because they are in “Jen’s team”. Go and see on Box office mojo that she could carry a film by herself ALWAYS and it almost always pass the 200-300mln mark worldwide, only a small part in the States.

  6. For Alexander as far as I remember the critics said then that Angelina’s work was the only good thing about the film although it was OLIVER STONE. This is royal too but nothing like the role in Alexander, so I cannot wait to see what she is going to do with it, but it is not going to be boring or plain for sure, She likes to do something that she has not done before, she likes the challenge as a true artist does. She is not one of these actresses who pick up roles just to be dressed pretty,dolled up, to do their lines while look pretty and flirtatious in an average movie. As much as so many journalists want and trash her still even for the Tourist they said good things about her performance but trashed Johnny and the director and of course to say something bad about her “no chemistry” with Depp!!!. But have you seen ever the journalists to be on one mind for a film???ever?? Exactly as it is the case with the Fashion designers- one and the same dress goes in one’s best list and at the same time for other in their worst list. So everybody is free to decide for himself according to his own taste, upbringing, knowledge and fairness.
    I hope David Fincher agrees to take up the project. They are good friends with Brad, they did Seven, Fight Club and of course Benjamin Button together. Brad and Angelina were on this year’s Golden Globes to support some friends, mainly Fincher for the Social Network. They were photographed together so probably they had a talk about Cleopatra hopefully. It is a huge undertaking but all involved so far seem so passionate about it and are gathering the best of the best, the true artists. Hope they got Fincher and find the best for the rest of the crew and cast. I can’t wait to see who is going to be Mark Antony, Caezar, but also costumes and make up artists, what they could do, sound, locations, everything. It is going to be really something. I know it will.

    • Wow.

    • Don I get something for reading both your comments in full??

      • here you can read my other comments if you get a “vacation” time and have the elephant’s patient to go through it. Sorry , not only have I an opinion but also I cannot express myself in brief. I am into details, you could say. But then again, the choice is yours if you want to read it or not, right?

  7. Thank you for the thoughtful comments Mamawabbit. I completely agree with you on all points. Jolie starring as the new Cleopatra with an A-lister director like Fincher and film technology possibilities that we now have in 2011 will be amazing! I can’t wait to see how everything is put together come opening day, hopefully sometime in the near future. As for Taylor and Burton’s version in ’63, I actually don’t think it was all that bad. Perhaps a bit long, but for what it’s worth, it did bring to LIFE an interpretation of a story that we would only be able to imagine in our minds if not for the magic of what film and story telling have portrayed. So I give a lot credit to the filmmakers and actors/actresses of the past who I am sure gave their all to projects of their time with what they knew and had. Who knows, perhaps in 30 years, we may even look at a film like “Avatar” or “Inception” and think…”small potatoes…that’s the technology and acting skills they had to work with?” Movies and the film culture will evolve…we need to evolve them.

    • I completely agree with you. The Liz version was awesome, I still enjoy and watch it every time it is on TV. But the focus was somewhere else, that is the difference. Now it will be Her as a ruler and the personality she had which was the fascinating thing. Not only as the woman that conquered the hearts of two of the greatest Romans. And mind you at their time, in the 60s, the film was about to bankrupt the studio and .. then it turned to be such a hit for years and years, a classic. I saw the previous version with Vivien Leah but the Liz’s was better, the grand scale of things ( which it really was the case in Cleopatra’s Alexandria), the costumes and the chemistry between them was perfect. They both were great actress and Liz was in her prime – heavenly beautiful, which in my opinion, Angelina is nowadays version of her. The new film was scheduled to start shooting this year and released in 2012 but is delayed understandably so and postponed for 2013 release unfortunately. It is a VERY ambitious project for a lot of people and will be definetely costly, so they will have to make sure they would not rush it and gather the best crew. Fincher has his own The Girl with the Dragon trilogy and they probably will wait for him. Also I am dying to see who will play who. The author herself said she would like Brad as Mark Anthony and from Troy you see he could be great, but Angelina said once that they would like to work together again but think that public will not want to see them as a couple as in real life. It is a challenge although they could be so great together because they support each other, they are the same level of talent, honesty, experience,understanding and respecting the craft that it could be really a treat to watch them in such big movie, not because they are famous couple and media “darling”( it is opposite actually because the tabloids usually are dying to trash them) It will be all Scott Rudin’s and Stacy Scguff;s decision. Read the book. It is a piece of art itself and revelation. I read it twice already and bought it too on Amazon ” Cleopatra: A life” See what Alexandria and ancient world was, what the architecture, the science, the arts, the way they dress, the way they behaved – it is all fascinating and HER!! The most famous woman of all times actually and it was NOT of her beauty, but personality which all the man and especially the clever ones hated about her, but Caezar and Marc Anthony who would not replace her with ANYBODY else because it was simply nobody like her. SHe was equal to them but exceeded them in culture, science in arts, taste. She spoke 9 languages, was dripping in pearls and precious stones, silk and so on. She was a head of State, monitoring and controlling everything in her rich state which was rich and was feeding even the whole Rome. She managed to keep the Romans away until her death. She spoke as a child in rhimes from Homer;s poems, developing medicine, science, art, music, trade, government regulations in a city with straight wide streets and beautiful marble buildings, whereas Rome was built from woods and was like a province.It is a very tall order for Angie but I am sure she would deliver. Both producer and writer said the film is with her only in mind developed. THere will not be any auditioning or doubts about her. So this is something isn’t it?? She and now David Fincher are the sure thing so far. I cannot wait to see the rest of the cast, the costume design too!!Huge jobs for everybody. Maybe the studio would be once again facing bankruptcy, it is soooo ambitious how they are going to portray that when you read the book. And a lot of people are opposing Angie’s participation EVEN NOW. But it is not only USA. THe whole planet will go to see her in this role, I am sure and It will make a lot of money for the brave filmmakers who will take this risk to make it as is their conviction. AS usual.

  8. Shell look good with gold jewerly no clothes straight hair and a roman commander she has an affair with instead of the men she’s married to.she could have an secret love affair with a commamder roman while married . She should look really provacative don’t forget long hair and really sexy

    • read the book first to see what the story is

      • Sorry. The book is ” Cleopatra, a life” and the author is Stacy Schiff ( not easy to get the spelling right) for everybody who wants to get info from a good source to form their opinion about Cleopatra and THEN make a comment. Now everybody ( like me before) has their opinion only based on a film which was a free interpretation of the movie creators of the 60s Cleopatra version. Now read to see it was far more to it and here is as accurate as it could be.

    • Angelina usually does not go for the “girly” parts as you would like to portray her ” with gold jewellery and no clothes” but on the contrary for a tomb boy, gutsy, “equal to the boys” roles to show that what they could do the women could do too. So I do not see where this comes from.
      As for Cleopatra, as she was a royal she was “married” to her minor(age 7 or 8) brother (this was the usual practice at the Ptolomy dynasty) and put to the Egyptian throne to rule by their father. And as the history of the dynasty was she was about to be killed if she did not run (and thus survived)to Caezar, who has already slept with almost all wives of his Cenate comrades and was at least 30 years older than her, who was 18 and a virgin at the time. So as the author put it, it is for the reader to think who seduced whom. The same situation happened with the Roman “commander” Marc Anthony. She was in Rome with Caezar’s child when Caezar got slaughtered in the Cenate and her life, the destiny of her country and her son’s once again were in jeopardy and danger and depended on her prompt and right decision to protect all that – a role which nowadays women do not know anything about it. I cannot even imagine such heavy responsibility..And she did everything right and survived and saved until she was able to her country and children. And I am dying to see what the clothes and make up will be as it was incredibly rich and luxurious at the time when in Rome they will wearing just simple piece of fabric..

  9. Anjelina is not great for Cleopatra WE THINK THEY FIND ALREADY THE MOST INTO THE ORIGN CLEOPATRA HERE IS SHE http://www.youtube.com/TheCleopatralove

    • not every thing there is accurate, according to the new book. Egypt was the most it stayed that way. She ( Eqypt) fed the Roman empiry and was giving them gold and lavish presents to stay away, having Caezar’s protection ( and his children)and then Marc Anthony’s too. She spoke 9 languages including Egyption whom no Ptolomy spoke. Her people loved her. She cared and protected her country and people until her death after which it fell under the Romans.

  10. The only other actress for this role would be Charlize Thereon. (Halle Berry would be interesting…) Either would be great. Cleopatra came from a long line of Macedonian-Greek rulers of Egypt. They adopted many traditional Egyptian customs and religious aspects.
    It will be interesting to see Cleopatra defined froma more realistic aspect of who she was and how she managed to be a successful ruler in cultures that did not accept women rulers.
    She ruled a wealthy country but it was a time when Rome was beginning to rule the world and no one could resist Roman power. She handled the politics ot that time deftly.

    • I love them both and agree with you for Charlezeand Halle. They both are beautiful and very talented and both as Angelina have the Oscar to prove it. But once I read the book I could picture Charleze more like Marc Anthony’s second wife and Octavian’s sister Octavia who was extremely beautiful, gracious, intelligent and sweet which is all Charleze. Halle or Penelope Cruz I could picture as his first wife who was feisty, very intelligent, politicly savvy and one of his great supporters. But Angelina is the one who could bring more layers to the role, she is usually fearless, usually immersing herself completely in the role and character and stays in it through filming, shut from everybody/everything on set, living in the character’s skin. Stacy Schiff said that if a woman was intelligent, brainy, equal to man she will always be portrayed as she get her way through the bedroom not for what her merits were. IT was then, it is now. Man do not like a woman to be greater than them in EVERYTHING and especially in politics, government ruling, science, culture, art. She was even interested in medicine!! And the Romans hated her influence on their greatest men because at that time a Roman woman was just more than a dog, dressed pretty and not speaking in the company of man whereas at that very time Cleopatra was single handedly ruled a prosperous rich country in all of it aspects, not having anybody else doing it for her. How not to hate her. She was a simply great, so to diminish all that they portray her as “whore” and so on. And she managed not only to impress the greatest men of Rome but to keep them, to have their children, to keep her country free and herself alive!!! No one in the surrounding states survived that for over almost 20 years!!
      And everything you said about Egypt at that time and Cleopatra is true and in the new book which will be used for the film. Egypt was much more advanced whereas Rome was not in their prime yet and had a lot to learn and “copy” from the Greeks ( which they did later and was always fascinated in. That is why they were impressed in Cleopatra’s Egypt which was direct ascendent of this culture.)

  11. Please, oh PLEASE, don’t let the Hollywood gods cast Brad Pitt as Antony. It would be a disaster in the making. I’m still unconvinced that Jolie has the skill to give Cleo her due.

    • we could only wait and see. Brad is a very diverse actor and as Achiles he was great too. He could play comedy, drama, action, everything. He could be funny and dramatic, Why not Brad?? You have to go behind the “pretty face” to see how good he is in every single role he does, The handsomeness is his curse. Look at him even now in Moneyball and Tree of Life how different he is. If he was with the looks of Russel Crow or Sean Penn, he would have 2 Oscars too by now, the first being for 12 monkeys. he never cashed in ( and well could have if he wanted to) on his”hotness” by playing a leading man in romantic crab. Look at his films- Seven, Snatch, Seven years in Tibet, Benjamin Button, Jesse James, Inglorious Bastards, Burn after Reading. Tell me one film he is not a good actor, one?? The same as with Robert Redford and that is what he said once that he could relate to Brad for how people’s perception of him is. Or Anthony Hopkins to quote” Brad is a brilliant character actor” and i am sure you will agree Hopkins is one of the giants..Angelina is the same – she could do drama, historic piece, action ( for which mostly people know her without giving her credit for her other movies) How about Mighty Heart or Robert De Niro’s “The Good Sheppard” or Changelling?, not only Gia and Girl Interrupted and Wallace, or even “Alexander” where she was the only one who got the good reviews even with Oliver Stone director? She is not good in comedy and she said that she would like to be funny but she is not. These two are serious and talented actors whose love and life together hurt their careers big time and they are trying to have a normal family life while being true to their profession, Wait and see what they could do first and then go against them, isn’t it a better idea to be objective about it?

  12. @ MAMAWABBIT ~ Are you aware of the literary device known as the paragraph? Or how about periods at the end of sentences? Capitol letters at the beginning of sentences? Complete sentences?

    Does any of that sound familiar?

    • It’s “capital.” “Capital” letters.

  13. “…in an infamously extravagant production that featured Elizabeth Taylor as the titular queen – a production which ultimately bombed at the box office.”

    Not according to the IMdB, which says it was the highest grossing film of 1963. That’s not my idea of bombing at the box office.

  14. Well, this is not a grammar test, isn’t it?
    I am just trying to make a point. Also, everyone could tell, English is not even my mother language. So, thank you very much, I am doing just fine. How about you doing all I am doing here in “perfect” Bulgarian.
    If this is all you could say to comment on the topic we are here talking, it is not much, sorry.
    I just answer to your comment or remark from mere politeness.

  15. Thanks, Alex, you rock!
    Also I previously said exactly that when they were making the movie in the 60s, they went so over budget that almost got the studio bankrupt. And it did not do well in the beginning but later it became classic/box office. It will be helpful if you read what I am saying not how.

  16. Phwahahahahaaaa They are doing it again, they are casting a white woman to play a mixed race / black African queen. If they dont get it right, the film will bring notoriety to the people involved and the backlash will be massive, everybody in the black community will boycott it and the movie will take ages to make profit. There is a very good reason why the Directors are squirming away from this clownish ill advised project. lol

  17. I vote for Daniel Craig to play Jolie’s Mark Anthony!!!! That is a pairing I would pay to see.

    • I would like to see Russell Crowe as Mark Antony it would be very interesting to see the chemistry between Angelina Jolie & Russell Crowe in Cleopatra! Russell seems like a very challenging actor & in many ways her equal.

  18. Russel wd be fitting. I think he wd blow away AG in acting talent and she is not the type to let herself be upstaged. They will put someone weaker like BP. By the way cleopatra was Greek.

  19. Cleopatra was African, before the Arabs occupied Egypt! This movie will be another historical misrepresentation of true African history and power. Shame on Hollywood and those who endorse such falsehoods that rob persons of African descent of the glory of their history!

  20. Even from the comments provided by many here.. it is obvious that they want to see a fake movie, not a factual one. but let me also asert, if I came to thier countries in turn to watch and celebrate a work of fiction, how would they feel?

    EXACTLY. This film is like casting Beyonce to play the Queen of England. Utterly disgraceful. and the people doing it have no shame or grace enough to alter it because they want to make money from their own clowns prepared to buy into this fake myth which actually was a robust Pitch black Dark Pyramid building dynasty.. oh and by the way Not even Cleopatra built a pyramid and the Sphinx looks nothing like Brittany Spears does it?. White Clowns. These people wer BLACK, they were called NUBIANS and Academic institutions support that notion not the movies.