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Blade Runner 2049's Denis Villeneuve in talks to direct Sony's Cleopatra

Denis Villeneuve Cleopatra

At the time of its production, Elizabeth Taylor's CLEOPATRA was the most expensive film ever made and nearly bankrupted Twentieth Century Fox. 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. Since then, Cleopatra has been featured in many movies, but none of them have come close to capturing that same epic feeling as the 1963 film, but, it may be time for a big-budget CLEOPATRA epic to be unleashed once again, and it could be BLADE RUNNER 2049 director Denis Villeneuve who will make it happen.

Per Deadline, it seems that Sony Pictures is in discussions with Denis Villeneuve to direct CLEOPATRA based upon the best-selling biography by Stacy Schiff. Quite a few of Hollywood's biggest directors have circled the project in the past, including James Cameron, Paul Greengrass, and David Fincher, but Denis Villeneuve, who's already receiving high praise for the upcoming BLADE RUNNER 2049, is very quickly making a big name for himself.

Should Villeneuve come onboard to direct CLEOPATRA, he wouldn't be getting into it right away, as he's also in the midst of developing an adaptation of Frank Herbert's DUNE for Legendary Entertainment. It's expected that he'll be able to work on CLEOPATRA while directing DUNE. According to Deadline, this may also mean that Denis Villeneuve is likely out of the running to direct the next 007 film, as he was recently included in a short-list alongside Yann Demange (WHITE BOY RICK) and David Mackenzie (HELL OR HIGH WATER). David Scarpa, Eric Roth, and Brian Helgeland have all worked on past drafts of the CLEOPATRA script, and Angelina Jolie has long been eyed to play the title role, but it’s unknown whether she's still onboard.

A synopsis of "Cleopatra: A Life" via Amazon:

Though her life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first when both were teenagers. She poisoned the second. Ultimately she dispensed with an ambitious sister as well; incest and assassination were family specialties. Cleopatra appears to have had sex with only two men. They happen, however, to have been Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, among the most prominent Romans of the day. Both were married to other women. Cleopatra had a child with Caesar and--after his murder--three more with his protégé. Already she was the wealthiest ruler in the Mediterranean; the relationship with Antony confirmed her status as the most influential woman of the age. The two would together attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled their ends. Cleopatra has lodged herself in our imaginations ever since.

Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Shakespeare and Shaw put words in her mouth. Michelangelo, Tiepolo, and Elizabeth Taylor put a face to her name. Along the way, Cleopatra's supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff here boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order. Rich in detail, epic in scope, Schiff 's is a luminous, deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life.

BLADE RUNNER 2049 will hit theaters on October 6, 2017.

Source: Deadline

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