James Cameron Considering 3D ‘Cleopatra’ Movie [Updated]

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:30 pm,

jolie cameron cleopatra James Cameron Considering 3D Cleopatra Movie [Updated]

[Update: James Cameron’s next project will be the back-to-back production of Avatar 2 & 3.]

Although Avatar sequels are inevitable, James Cameron has eluded to the possibility of making another film before he begins working on Avatar 2. The Dive and Battle Angel were mentioned as contenders for his next gig, but it looks like the innovative filmmaker may have switched his focus to something else entirely.

According to Deadline, Cameron might direct a 3D Cleopatra biopic based on Stacy Schiff’s book Cleopatra: A Life. Producer Scott Rudin acquired the rights and set the project up at Sony back in June. Angelina Jolie emerged as an early choice for the titular role and is currently still attached.

Sony Co-Chair Amy Pascal is particularly enthusiastic about the film and describes Cleopatra as her Gone with the Wind. She’s also excited to build a potentially long-lasting and lucrative relationship with Jolie:

“She’s a real star and she can open a movie by herself. She knows she was born to play this part.”

Pascal recognizes the logistical and financial risks of mounting a project as ambitious as Cleopatra, but she’s already fast-tracked the film and is hoping for a 2011 start date. Evidently, Brian Helgeland’s recently delivered script was what really kicked her efforts into overdrive. Pascal claims it’s “a brilliant script deserving of epic treatment.”

Cameron certainly knows a thing or two about epic treatment and even though no deals have been signed, Deadline refers to his talks with Sony as “serious.” While this news seemingly comes out of nowhere, it isn’t difficult to see Cameron’s attraction to the source material.

His attention to detail, visual panache, and penchant for strong female leads suggest that Cameron might actually be an ideal choice for Cleopatra. Still, as terrific as Helgeland’s script might be, it would be rare for Cameron to helm a film he didn’t have a hand in writing (or rewriting in this case).

Skeptics will be quick to point out that the last Cleopatra movie to hit screens back in 1963 nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox. However, it wasn’t a box office bomb – the cost of production simply spun wildly out of control making the possibility of turning a profit impossible.

The bigger issue faced by a new Cleopatra film would be just how iconic Elizabeth Taylor’s portrayal of the Egyptian queen has become. Not to mention Richard Burton’s Mark Antony.

Yet, Jolie is determined to take an entirely different approach to the character and downplay the perception of Cleopatra as a sex-symbol:

“She was misunderstood and her life story was written wrongly. I always thought her life was very glamorous. Then I read her story and found a different side to her – that she was a mother, leader and an intellect who spoke five languages! Her upbringing also reflected her relationship with Rome – all that is much more interesting than what she was summed up to be.”

A Cameron/Jolie team-up would definitely garner some attention and I’m all for Jolie taking on a role that doesn’t turn her into a cartoon or a caricature. As solid as she may be in fluff like Wanted and The Tourist, it’s nice to remind audiences every once in a while that she’s really a pretty talented actress. To be honest, though – I was rooting for Battle Angel as Cameron’s next project.

How does Sony’s take on the subject matter sound to you, and is James Cameron a good fit for Cleopatra?

Source: Deadline.

TAGS: Cleopatra
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  1. I’m so tired of 3D and James effing Cameron I wish someone would stuff him in The Hurt Locker

  2. Why 3d????

    It’s Cleopatra…

    Are we going to see the asp come out at the camera?

  3. I’d rather her a$$ come out at the camera

  4. Only thing that will be coming out of the camera will be her lips. Enough of the unnecesary 3D movies and Hollywoodized ancient Egypt. I’d rather see an EPIC movie with Will Smith as “Taharqa”.

  5. Well you can see it without 3D but I agree the 3D seems like a gimmick to me. And I really don’t know why they pick Angelina to play Cleopatra..I won’t get into it..

  6. Yep. I’ll pass. Plus when is he going to do it. Between Avatar 2 and 3? At his work rate, Angelina will be in her 50s. Someone else is going to end up directing this and it’ll be even worse.

  7. screw james cameron

  8. Jeeze…the 3D trian has jumped the tracks for good! Is that Cleo trying to pound her way out of the boxcar in Super 8??? And for pete’s sake James, who the heck is interested in a rehash of CLEOPATRA for god’s sake??? Take a vacation, dude…you need it.

  9. Do you mean “alluded to the possibility”, as in hinted at it rather than “eluded” as in avoided it?

    Also, cool news. Even the original Cleopatra (its storyline flaws and famous floppage aside) was a great visual experience. I loved it as a teen. It could work.

  10. People can say what they will about Cameron, but he has never mad a bad film in my opinion.

    • Same here. To me, Cameron is a movie-making GOD. However, it is annoying that he makes everything in 3D nowadays. I really wouldn’t be surprised if you had to use 3D glasses in his house to see.

      But I agree with Jon, make Battle Angel next.

      • Yeah its kinda sack that everything is going 3D. Not every mo ie needs that, but Cameron did set the bar by actually using 3D cameras so when he does it I doubt it will be bad 3D.

        • Yes, but he’s even making a documentry on an Amazon in 3D that won’t even be a feature film, and will be on the next Avatar BD. That’s going overboard. I don’t jump on the “3D is a gimmick” bandwagon, but seriously, a 40 minuted doc in 3D? That’s just ridiculous.

          • I hear what you’re saying. But a amazon docu in 3D would be pretty sweet imho :)

  11. This sounds loaded with fail to me. Please let Battle Angel be next instead!

  12. I don’t like 3D but it would be kind of cool 2 see the snake in 3D.

  13. why? there is absolutely NO NEED for this film to be in 3D! oh wait… yes there is.
    why? because it’s a cheap, ridiculously easy way to make more money.

    it won’t be bad, mind you, just totally unnecessary to have it in 3D.

  14. I for one want Cameron to do this. Brian Helgeland on his worst day is a 10,000 times better writer than Cameron is. It might be the first time we see a Cameron movie that didn’t suck since True Lies.

  15. Avatar sequel please.

  16. In recent years, the Chinese have come up with more impressive depictions of Ancient Battles (Red Cliff and Confucius). I can imagine that in Cameron’s hands, this period of ancient history with their fabulous temples filled with semi-precious stones and their epic battles could be quite awesome. I don’t see Helgeland’s penning the script as being a problem since it’s based on a book. I am quite excited to see what they can do. Given the talent involved, this could be Cameron’s best yet. Whether it will make anywhere near as much money as Titanic and Avatar would be the huge question but I am guessing that if it’s as visually stunning as I am imagining it could be, it will.

  17. Oh please god no. James Cameron is fast becoming my least favourite person (Dennis Quaid is the least, if anyone is interested :) )

  18. There is an indeniable Cameron “fatigue”. The guy never matured as a film maker (Avatar’s moronic storyline anyone) and his so-called inovations are mere technical gimmicks that are already irrelevant (3D has failed miserably). As for Jolie, I never liked that creepy, skinny, tatooed, charmless, incestuous (yes)b****. This thing has disaster written all over it. This is what happens when uneducated blue colar directors become too sucessful, they think we are interested in their 3D take on hitory.

    • Blue Colour? Avatar? geddit? :) haha, sorry. I do wholeheartedly agree with you, apart from Jolie, she aint all bad.

    • Ummm, I’m just curious why you think Cameron is blue-collar…? If he does it right (and I believe he has that capacity, since I did not find “Avatar” moronic at all and have very much enjoyed a number of his films), I think it could be an epic film. Also, I love the idea of more people being exposed to history if Jolie is able to flesh out the REAL Cleopatra. I’m interested in the possibilities for this film…

    • Oh, and as for the 3-D argument…I very much doubt it will die any time soon, so you’ll probably just have to learn to calm down and accept it.

  19. I think it sounds awesome!

  20. Cleopatra is over done. Out of ALL the amazing Egyptian stories and numerous other pharaohs who ruled for thousands of years, why must we always hear of the failure that was Cleopatra? Hatshepsut is a far better story or Ramses II or even the stories of the gods themselves would have more appeal.