When it comes to James Cameron, valedictorian of the “Go Big or Go Home” school of filmmaking, any news is Big News.
So we’re pretty excited to hear that the Avatar director James Cameron is in talks with Sony Pictures Entertainment to “explore the very real possibility” of directing Angelina Jolie in an epic 3D Cleopatra biopic, based on author Stacy Schiff’s upcoming book ‘Cleopatra: A Life.’
Well, Deadline is now saying that Sony Pictures really wants James Cameron to direct the movie and they’re ‘exploring this seriously, but it is not a certainty that it will happen.’
Because James Cameron still has several of his own projects to think about, including ‘The Dive’ and his in-development ‘Avatar’ sequel, the Cleopatra project already has a lot going for it.
Jolie is reportedly on board to star as the Egyptian monarch, and is apparently “anxious to make the movie”.
Sony Pictures Entertainment boss Amy Pascal has reportedly decided to fast-track its 3D Cleopatra project after screenwriter Brian Helgeland wrote what was is being described as a “brilliant script deserving of epic treatment” all about “what the Romans took from Egypt”.
Oscar-winning producer extraordinaire Scott Rudin (‘The Social Network,’ ‘There Will Be Blood’), who first acquired the rights to the Schiff’s book, would produce.
Sony wants to begin production in 2011, but everything will hinge on whether James Cameron decides to commit to the project. Either way, the Cleopatra project won’t come cheap: studio Co-Chair Amy Pascal is saying this will be her Gone With the Wind epic.
AngelinaJolie, for her part, has dreamed of playing the 1st century (BC) Pharaoh for years. The 35-year-old actress has had ‘a life-long fasciation with Cleopatra.’
She recently told reporters “I haven’t done a historical epic of that nature, and she’s always been fascinating to me because I feel like, as much of her story has been done big, it’s never been done accurately.”
“Not that any movie can get history perfectly well,” Angelina Jolie conceded.
“There is no universal truth to history in some films, but you can get closer and I feel there’s a lot that has been unexplored about her. But there’s a lot that would have to come together for that to work.”
As far as historical accuracy is concerned, Jolie is “physically the perfect look,” says Cleopatra author Stacy Schiff. “
Angelina Jolie radiates grace and power, exactly the qualities that Stacy Schiff finds in her biography of the most intriguing ruler who ever lived,” publisher Michael Pietsch told reporters.
Elizabeth Taylor famously portrayed Cleopatra on screen opposite her husband to be Richard Burton in the 1963 film.
And Brad Pitt’s name has already been linked to the part of Roman warrior Marc Antony – a bit of casting we’ll heartily endorse as long as Pitt agrees to be less wooden than he was as Achilles in Troy. [via Daily Telegraph (UK) and DeadLine]