James Cameron Considering Directing Angelina Jolie's Cleopatra

October 14, 2010
Source: Deadline

Cleopatra / Angelina Jolie

In the summer we wrote about a project in the works called Cleopatra, based on Stacy Schiff's biography Cleopatra: A Life about the famous queen of Egypt. The adaptation was being developed by producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network, True Grit) "for and with Angelina Jolie," but was in the early development stages. Well, Deadline is now saying that Sony Pictures really wants James Cameron to direct the movie and they're "exploring this seriously, but it is not a certainty that it will happen." Never in a million years would I thought we'd hear Cameron's name being thrown around for a historic, biographical epic like this.

Of course, it's way too early to even say that he's been offered the job, but Deadline says this is "tantalizingly possible." The other interesting detail is that Oscar winner Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, A Knight's Tale, Mystic River, Green Zone, Robin Hood) is currently working on the script. I'm sure Sony really wants to get a team of talent like Cameron, Jolie and Helgeland together, but this seems like a huge pipe dream to me. I mean, Hollywood is going in the opposite direction with a lot of science fiction projects, not historical epics, and I can't see this gaining a lot of traction. Sure, it would be interesting, but I'd rather have Cameron stick to his guns with more epic sci-fi instead of something like this. Let another director tackle Cleopatra.

Update: Deadline just added more details to their original post. Jolie is attached and anxious to make the movie, so she's definitely a lock. The adaptation will be in 3D, another selling point (for both Cameron and audiences). It will be PG-13 and has been described as "brilliant script deserving of epic treatment" all about "what the Romans took from Egypt." Sony's production head Amy Pascal wants to "own" the Jolie name (not my wording) and says that "[Jolie] was born to play this part" because it's the "greatest female heroine" that ever lived. Pascal even went so far as to call it her Gone with the Wind epic. Wow - she is going all out!

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who gives a shit what you think, JC, let alone any director out there can choose what they want to film. They're not entitled to fans' opinions and what they want to see these directors do.

pshhh on Oct 14, 2010


Could she at least get a tan if she's gonna be Cleopatra...

Oranges on Oct 14, 2010


Oranges, Cleopatra was Greek! It was the time of the Greek occupation of Egypt! She loved her people so much that she adopted their culture, as to why she dressed in the royal Egyptian clothing.

John on Oct 14, 2010


She is way too old and getting older to play Cleopatra...and since this won't happen anytime soon, I can't see her for the famous Queen of Egypt, not by a long shot.

LINKFX on Oct 14, 2010


I know what you mean, Alex. James 'Titanic' Cameron directing a historical epic? Never gonna happen! He only does sci-fi, doesn't he?

Mathieu on Oct 14, 2010


PG13. fail.

Happy Camper on Oct 14, 2010


@LINKFX She's only 35...I think she can pull the role off well. please ignore #6 comment.

Xerxex on Oct 14, 2010


Now this movie has a potential to be good because James Camerann isn't writing it.

Moon on Oct 14, 2010


@john cleopatra wasn't greek she was born in africa. technically she was from a greek background. european history tells us this so we have to believe it. but she was born in egypt just like her parents and her parents parents. so she is african she was born in africa. what the number 2 comment said about her having atleast a tan is correct in a sense that she and her ancestors for atleast 200 or more years were living in africa so they would have been darker then your average european and greeks already have a little bit darker skin because of where greece is situated. so technically if we are being true to history getting someone with the color of skin of eva longoria or sarah shahi or salma hayek would be more correct then elizabeth taylor or catherine zeta jones or angelina jolie. there is no evidence saying that cleopatra was white. only that she was from macedonian or greek descent. there for zoe saldana could play cleopatra and i wouldn't have a problem with it.

afan on Oct 14, 2010


Doesn't matter where she was born. Her blood is Macedonian greek. If a black african man is born is Sweden and his parents migrated from Africa to sweden...does that make him swedish?The blood line say's it all. Anyone can be born anywhere...their blood line dominates. Therefore cleopatra is Greek /Egyptian . Period!

yasmine on Feb 8, 2011


I'm guessing where cameron will go with this. there will be a ship that crashes in egypt carrying blue aliens that reach about the enviornment, as long as JC is invlved there's no way in hell i'm stepping foot in there unless i'm dragged

max s. on Oct 14, 2010


#1 Um, no one cares, I'm not trying to actually reach Cameron. I'm just stating my opinion for the heck of it, you can disagree if you want, that's fine by me. Just actually provide your OWN reasons next time, instead of attacking what I've written.

Alex Billington on Oct 15, 2010


Im sorry but, for my own personal dignity, I refuse to give that guy more money.

Cody w on Oct 15, 2010


@ xerxex, yeah i see she died when she was 39, still Jolie is looking a bit haggard recently, wouldn't you say? She needs to chub up a bit.

LINKFX on Oct 15, 2010


She's gone to "actioney" as of late, she needs to put on some poundage.

Xerxex on Oct 15, 2010


Thank You, Thank You, Thank You#9!!!This is insane!Scott Rudin needs to be shot!!What is wrong with Hollywood?This aint 1950 anymore!!They would be stupid to cast Angelina Jolie as Cleo, that's just wrong man! It was wrong when Eliz Taylor played here many decades ago and it's even more wrong now considering most people know that Cleo was of african descent! So let's see here: Zoe Saldana, Frieda Pinto,Alicia Keys, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Aishawary Rai could all play Cleo, but I guess we'd have to wait until Tyler Perry directs Queen Nefretiti!

jah p on Oct 15, 2010


jah p, you're not really giving Jolie enough credit here, the woman can act. Skin color is important, but I'd take a powerhouse performance over tone any day. When it comes down to it, no one really knows what Cleopatra really looked like.

Xerxex on Oct 15, 2010


what the fuck is going on??? james cameron's most important project "Battle Angel Alita" is the most wanted project from his fans and he one day talking about avatar2 another day hiroshima and now cle0patra!!!! James we love you,please dont go to fincher's wrong way...just do BATTLE ANGEL! not avatar2 or cleopatra.

Edward on Oct 15, 2010


Remember how 1963's Cleopatra almost bankrupted Twentieth Century Fox? I guess enough time has passed and younger execs are in place that they've forgotten that disaster.

game over, man, game over! on Oct 15, 2010


@Xerxex u joking right this is bad casting choice Angelina Jolie playing Cleopatra who is african. i would not want to see a white actor playing Genghis Khan ever again but its already rumor that mickey rourke is going to play Genghis Khan and i found that just dumb. Angelina Jolie even played a black woman Mariane Pearl in "A Mighty Heart" that was a miscasting too.

tazz on Oct 15, 2010


Being born in Africa doesn't mean your black tazz, there are pleanty of white people in Africa.

Xerxex on Oct 15, 2010


Whats next? Remake of Amistad starring Tom Cruise?

Oranges on Oct 15, 2010


@Xerxex Cleopatra also have black Africa blood line u cant tell me they could not casted a biracial or black person for the role. dont really want to see Angelina Jolie putting fake tan and changing her hair again like what she did in the "A Mighty Heart" were she played Mariane Pearl a biracial/black woman on film.

tazz on Oct 16, 2010


Angelina Jolie playing Cleopatra is as funny as Gemma Arterton playing a Arab Princess in Prince of Persia. And Im not saying Cleopatra was black im just saying that the fact that her great great grandparents were born in africa and she was born in africa and being of greek descent would have made her have a very dark tan. meaning she would not look like your average white european. The Story of Nefertiti would be better anyway. Hollywood never wants to make a movie about black history unless its american black history and it involves something racist in the south and then have sandra bullock as the savior. how bout making a movie about black egypt. we know there wasn't alot of arabs in north africa until 700 a.d when the arab invasion happened led by mohammed. thats fact. so why not grab Iman while she's young enough to play Nefertiti.

afan on Oct 16, 2010


Thanks afan for clearing that up!Xeres is an idiot!!He needs to go read some books on the historical facts of Africa and Egypt. I really thought Hollyweird were making an effort and correct some of the mistakes they made in the 50's and 60's, but now it seems they're going backwards with this ridiculous casting! Don't get me wrong now Angelina can act her ass off! She's great in every movie she's in, but she's just not for this role! I hope she passess on it and takes something else..if you look at the actresses I mentioned above, they call all nail the part of Cleo and having the look of what she'd look like...And yes, Nefertiti would be a great movie..If any of you wanna get a really good look of what this movie should look like(Xeres, especially you!!), please check out the amazing John Singleton directed video of Michael Jackson's hit song "Remember The Time"! Look it up on youtube!

jah p on Oct 16, 2010


@tazz Cleopatra's genealogy is very well documented. She was the last in the line of Ptolemy kings and queens who regularly married their siblings. In fact, her first 2 husbands were Ptolemy XIII and XIV, both her younger brothers, before she married Mark Anthony. And her father, Ptolemy XII also married HIS sister.

Roy on Oct 21, 2010


Stale, overproduced retread + RED China franchise slum appeal + NWO eugenocide agenda + empty, empty, empty techno worship = the 'latest' from the ever stillborn Boomer generation

eber hart on Dec 30, 2010


1:i am egyptian and we aren't black 2:cleopatra was greek not egyptian 3:we want to see Angelina in this role with brad pitt as Anthony and Games as the director in (3-d) movie

Akram Ahmed38 on Jan 15, 2011


Cleopatra was a Ptolemy, they were Greek, not a history book

Owenconway123 on Jan 27, 2011


no didnt we see helen and it was terrible, arent ther ne other actress who could play...weird casting 

Cpiper20 on May 17, 2011

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