Gal Gadot will portray Cleopatra in a historical drama directed by her “Wonder Woman” pal Patty Jenkins. Laeta Kalogridis, who wrote “Alexander” and “Shutter Island,” will write the story.
The announcement of Gadot playing the legendary Egyptian queen in a new film came after Paramount prevailed in a heated bidding war for the film’s rights, beating out Apple, Netflix, Warner Brothers, and Universal.
Paramount’s promise of an accelerated timeline and a big-budget theatrical release helped seal the deal.
“I love embarking on new journeys, I love the excitement of new projects, the thrill of bringing new stories to life,” Gadot wrote on social media after the news broke. “Cleopatra is a story I wanted to tell for a very long time. Can’t be more grateful about this A team!” said the Israeli star.
Patty Jenkins will direct the film from a script by Laeta Kalogridis. Reportedly the new film was Gadot’s idea and is being billed as an epic biographical drama.
Fan reactions on social media have been divided over the news of Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot playing the role, and debates have sprung up about Cleopatra’s ancestry.
Hollywood producers have been trying to get a Cleopatra reboot off the ground for years. At one point, Angelina Jolie was slated to star in a project backed by Sony.
Then there were rumors that Lady Gaga was being considered for the part after her critically praised performance in another remake, “A Star Is Born.” But the last person to officially take on the role of Cleopatra was Elizabeth Taylor in 1963.
In that version of the story, Taylor played up the Egyptian queen as a manipulative seductress stuck in a love triangle with Marc Antony and Julius Caesar.
The film gained huge notoriety for its excessive production costs, including a record-setting salary for Taylor. At the time of its release, Cleopatra was the most expensive film ever made.
Costing 44 million dollars, the film almost bankrupted 20th Century Fox. Hopefully, the team at Paramout will be able to keep their spending more in check.
Gadot and Jenkins last collaborated on “Wonder Woman 1984,” the sequel to 2017’s blockbuster hit. WW 1984’s release date was just pushed to Christmas Day 2020 due to the Coronavirus.