Producer Scott Rudin has revealed that "we're pretty close" to attaching a director to his high-profile Sony Pictures 3D movie Cleopatra starring Angelina Jolie and based on Pulitzer Prize-winner Stacy Schiff's biography "Cleopatra: A Life," reports Deadline.
"It is a completely revisionist Cleopatra, a much more grown-up sophisticated version," Rudin said. "She's not a sex kitten, she's a politician, strategist, warrior. In the Joseph Mankiewicz movie, Elizabeth Taylor is a seductress, but 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."
Screenwriter Brian Helgeland wrote this PG-13 and 3D Cleopatra and is described as a "brilliant script deserving of epic treatment" about the "greatest female heroine" and "what the Romans took from Egypt".
Sony is hoping for a start date in 2011 and readily acknowledges that the pic "won't be cheap". The first Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor, cost an astonishing $44 million to make (it was budgeted for $2 million) and earned $26 million at the box office, which was a substantial loss in 1963 dollars.