Hugh Jackman Steps Out of Steven Soderbergh's Cleo
by Alex Billington
January 2, 2009
Remember that wacky live-action 3-D Cleopatra musical that Steven Soderbergh was putting together? When we first announced it, Catherine Zeta-Jones was going to star as Cleopatra and Hugh Jackman as her lover Marc Antony. Well, with the upcoming Oscars, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and even Guardians of Ga'Hoole, it looks like Jackman will no longer be able to dedicate the time to shoot Cleo, as it's being called, anymore. Variety has confirmed that he is no longer involved with the project, although a replacement hasn't been found just yet. Ray Winstone, however, has been confirmed as Julius Caesar.
Soderbergh is still looking for financing to get the $30 million project entirely off the ground. Soderbergh has said he wants to inject the famous historical love story with rock n' roll songs and a style akin to an Elvis musical. The music was written by the indie rock band Guided by Voices, and the script is by the group's former bass player, James Greer, who is also an author. For whatever reasons, I'm not turned off by this whole idea, which might have something to do with my appreciation for Soderbergh, but without Jackman, they'll need to find a damn good replacement, since his Broadway past was the biggest positive factor.