Wonder Woman actor/director team Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins are re-teaming for something outside of the superhero realm; the duo will collaborate on historical drama Cleopatra, which is in the works at Paramount.
The studio reportedly outbid offers from Universal, Apple, Warner Bros. and Netflix for the project. Shutter Island writer Laeta Kalogridis will pen the script.
Plot details are nonexistent at this point, but the project reportedly came together when Gadot came up with an idea and enlisted Kalogridis to research and begin shaping the story. Gadot, Jenkins, and co-producer Charles Roven of Atlas Films then participated in Zoom-based pitch meetings, with Kalogridis joining to lay out story beats to prospective buyers.
That led to the Paramount deal. This is certainly not the first time Hollywood has flirted with another Cleopatra film. Claudette Colbert and Elizabeth Taylor played her in 1934 and 1963, respectively, and since then Hollywood has been trying to get another big screen version going, to no avail.
Big names such as Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga have been attached to the title role at some point, while equally big name directors like David Fincher, Denis Villeneuve, and Ang Lee have been attached to direct. But all those fell through for a variety of reasons. Paramount will be hoping their version can do what those others can’t and actually begin shooting.
Gadot and Jenkins are first re-teaming for Wonder Woman 1984, which is currently scheduled for its re-shuffled Christmas release, but who knows if that will hold. It’s great that they’re both getting a big project outside the superhero genre to sink their teeth into. Cleopatra is the kind of big, lavish, star-driven biopic that doesn’t get made much anymore, so this is very intriguing.