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Denis Villeneuve's Cleopatra is being treated as a bloody political thriller

Denis Villeneuve Cleopatra

Over the years, CLEOPATRA has certainly earned its reputation as a breathtakingly epic production. At the time, CLEOPATRA was the most expensive film ever made and nearly bankrupted Twentieth Century Fox, and although it's a marvel when it comes to the elaborate sets, costumes, and props, as a film, CLEOPATRA doesn't quite live up to its opulent surroundings. Sony Pictures is looking to bring the story of Cleopatra to the big-screen once again, and have been in talks with Denis Villeneuve (BLADE RUNNER 2049) to direct the film based upon the best-selling biography by Stacy Schiff, but this new project will be quite unlike the 1963 film.

While speaking with THR about ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD, screenwriter David Scarpa also touched upon CLEOPATRA, which he says will be treated as a bloody political thriller rather than a prestige picture.

It's similar [to All the Money in the World] in that there's a lot of research involved and there's a question with all that of how do you want to do it and how do you make something new out of it? With Getty, part of the idea was to take two genres we felt we knew, which was the kidnapping genre and what we'll call the "great man" genre — the Citizen Kane genre — and smash them together and make something new out of them. With Cleopatra ... instead of doing the movie as the prestige picture — the three-hour, lots of pageantry, people with fans and English accents and all that stuff — [we] really treat it as a political thriller. Dirty, bloody, lots of people swearing and having sex and all of that other stuff and just treat it as a two-hour, lean, mean political thriller, full of assassinations, etc.  Just going the opposite direction from the way we think that movie is going to go.

I'll watch just about anything from Denis Villeneuve, and a bloody poltical thriller set around the story of Cleopatra sounds pretty damn amazing to me. However, Villeneuve won't be getting straight to work on CLEOPATRA, as he's also in the midst of developing an adaptation of Frank Herbert's DUNE for Legendary Entertainment.

Source: THR

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