Jolie will still play Cleopatra in 3D
The last we heard was that James Cameron wasn't set to direct the 3D epic tale of Cleopatra, although he had spoken highly of the idea and there were many rumours about it being so, it appeared that the Avatar sequels was too close to his heart.
Now though there's a new director rumoured to lead the film, and while it's a stretch of a rumour it does show one thing, the Cleopatra 3D project is still very much alive and it's still being touted as starring Angelina Jolie.
The film is based on Stacy Schiff's biography of the woman called Cleopatra: A Life (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) and the adaptation to screenplay by Brian Helgeland is being touted as a very strong one with unattributable quotes that I won't bother repeating again.
It appears, according to the Deadline story anyway, that Angelina Jolie is still interested in the film and that Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin are close to signing a director for the project, and while none of them have said anything, totally unrelated anonymous comments from someone are being used to say that it could be Paul Greengrass.
That's quite a leap from the stories of James Cameron pioneer and leading light of 3D to Paul Greengrass. Mind you he would deliver a very different kind of film, and some might argue with a stronger story, though just why the 3D is still so prevalent I don't know.
The big problem will be the fact that this is being called an epic and budgets are already being touted as huge, and no wonder as the story of Cleopatra is an epic, imagine the sets and costumes alone. However the real focus of the story is that this version of Cleopatra is not the one we know from screen already. According to Rudin:
"It is a completely revisionist Cleopatra, a much more grown-up sophisticated version...She's not a sex kitten, she's a politician, strategist, warrior...
...the histories of Cleopatra have been written by men. This is the first to be written by a woman. It felt like such a blow-the-doors-off-the-hinges idea of how to tell it, impossible to resist. We're pretty close. A lot of directors want to do it, but there is only a handful we'll make it with."
Sounds promising and could deliver a very powerful and career defining role for Jolie, if the director is right and doesn't blow it, and while James Cameron was lured away to make two Avatar (Filmstalker review) sequels, there are still plenty of directors who could handle such a task, but is Greengrass one of them? Could he build this 3D epic the studio want? The other question is, as always, does it really need 3D?