Scott Rudin Wants Angelina Jolie for a New Cleopatra Biopic

June 10, 2010
Source: USA Today

Angelina Jolie / Cleopatra

She's going epic. Found in a USA Today update (via Collider) today was a very brief but interesting mention about an adaptation of historical biography called Cleopatra: A Life, written by Stacy Schiff. Apparently Oscar winning producer Scott Rudin has optioned the rights and is working on an adaptation that "is being developed for and with [Angelina] Jolie." So now there's some casting buzz today that Angelina Jolie may play Cleopatra in this. Schiff says "physically, she's the perfect look," even though earlier she mentions that "we have little idea of what she actually looked like." So we just pick the most attractive actress we can find!

Beyond that confirmation from Rudin, we don't really know anything else about this project - who is writing, who may direct, how soon it'll happen, anything like that. Instead, here's a quick look at what Schiff's book is all about: "Her palace shimmered with onyx and gold, but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator. Though her life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world… Rich in detail, epic in scope, Schiff's is a luminous, deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life." We'll let you know if we hear more about this.

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Bring back Monica Bellucci as Cleopatra.......she was GREAT in Asterix and Cleopatra. Seriously!

drafunt on Jun 10, 2010


Very good casting move. Jolie is a wonderful actress and I'm sure she can pull this off.

Xerxex on Jun 10, 2010


I think she has the look for Cleopatra.

Craig on Jun 10, 2010


from the article: "So we just pick the most attractive actress we can find! ".........WTF? look - i like jolie as an actress but i don't see her as all. and in all of moviedom - she wouldn't make my top 20 best-looking actress list. but, i have no doubt that she'll do this role justice.......when it comes to acting she's excellent.

beavis on Jun 11, 2010


i think jolie could pull it off, she can actually act as we've seen. she still looks good in my opinion. but as #4 said, pick the most attractive? at least have that actress be able to act as well, not jus read lines in front of a camera, but i can see angie playing cleo. i would see it

KING on Jun 11, 2010


i like to think of myself as something of an expert on Cleopatra, i have been studying her for nearly ten years now and I still continue to be fascinated by this very great Queen. I have seen most of the movies made about her, and though i was impressed by the effort put into them, i was still left with an emptiness as i felt that they were lacking substance. And today, when i heard that a new movie starring angelina jolie produced by scott rudin was being made, i felt all the more disappointed. there is something disturbing about this...why? simply because not alot of people know the real truth about Cleopatra. Picking an actress like angelina jolie, no matter how attractive she may be, is not a good option; as it will obviously mean yet another agressive and sexually charged trashy "epic" like Alexander or Beowulf. If I made a Cleopatra movie, I would: 1- GET AN UNKNOWN- because our image of Cleopatra is quite cliched and very messed up, bringing a famous actor would only add to the confusion, we would be so caught up in thinking about "jolie" rather than "CLEOPATRA" 2- BASE IT ON MARGARET GEORGE'S BOOK- This is the best historical novel i have ever read, it is human, it is factual and it is richly descriptive, as any novel should be. And most importantly , it is perfect material for a successful movie. 3- BE SINCERE- Why doesnt scott rudin tell us why he's making the film? does it really mean anything to him or is it just another moneymaking scheme? this is a film about someone who gave their life for others, someone who is not just a glamour girl worthy of hollywood's decadent attentions. So WHY??? if he's making it for selfish reasons, then it would be better for him TO JUST STOP. Otherwise, it will surely fail in moving audiences, they are not going to get it. why? it's just another epic movie. which is a shame, because it is like saying CLeopatra is just another queen. I have bad feeling that he will put all the epic cliches into this film; every scene is miserable, depressing, the ending is tragic, the colours are dull or overly exaggerated, and everything is viewed from a eurocentric perspective. Don't say i did not warn you. but i am sure the self respecting viewer would not at all be impressed. I think we are sick of seeing the same rubbish being thrown at us in the cinema. Who's with me? (and yes, MONICA BELLUCI would make a better Cleopatra)

Meera on Jun 11, 2010


hey guys, since this is quite a hot topic these days, i'd like to bust a few famous myths about Cleopatra: MYTH1- SHE WAS UGLY- this is a very popular story, as some historians deduce from her coins that was ugly by modern and ancient standards. NOT TRUE. All sources point to the other end of the argument that she was in fact good looking if not 100% Beauty Queen. "Being brilliant to look upon and to listen to, with the power to subjugate every one" Dio Cassius, ancient historian. The coins, far from being an accurate depiction, were exaggerated to make Cleopatra look more masculine (more like Mark Antony in fact) and to emphasize her "masculine" ability to rule (we must remember that she was a woman in a man's world). On another level, a lot of people have this image of Cleopatra as being "black" or "african". I see many of these comments out there. there is actually no evidence to suggest that she had african blood, rather she was descended from Macedonian Greeks, many of which shared more in common with meditteranean or even slavic peoples than african races. This is also confused with the fact she came from egypt...of course she may have had some egyptian or african blood from her mother's side, but that is still unknown. However, she a gread affinity for Egypt and thus may have been more egyptian in spirit than macedonian ... in my opinion though, it does not matter which race she came from, rather she that inspires all races. MYTH 2- SHE KILLED HERSELF BECAUSE ANTONY DIED Also not true; Cleopatra was certainly not the overly sentimental /tragic shakespearian herione we think she was. Of course she would have felt like dying when she heard about his death, but she was first and foremost a queen, and could not just "dissappear" . she tried to kill herself, but octavian stopped her. she bore the pain of facing him first. She insured her children's safety. She then commited suicide because she did not want to be humiliated in front of Rome (paraded in a triumph). Also, there are theories popping up that Octavian killed her or wanted her to kill herself. Also not true. Octavian wanted glory and wanted to show the Romans his prize in the victory parade, and so was very upset when he heard of her suicide. Perhaps he suspected it, but in no way did he desire it. He completely swayed the romans against her, he threw her at the historical world as nothing but a whore, so why would he to want to glorify her? it would be illogical for him to do so. "But Caesar, when he could not in any way resuscitate Cleopatra, felt both admiration and pity for her, and was excessively grieved on his own account, as if he had been deprived of all the glory of his victory". Dio Cassius MYTH 3- SHE HAD LOVERS BESIDE ANTONY AND CAESAR this really angers me. People misuse Cleopatra as an excuse for their filfthy behaviour/desires. Look around you, Cleopatra in pop culture is anything but respectful, she is the temptress who ensnares men in her lust. She is the name of racy magazines, she is make-up, perfumes, even underwear! but would the real Cleopatra not been so lustful. First of all it would have ruined her image as a good ruler. She in fact had no other lovers but Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. She begot children from them. And she was faithful; no records of other lovers are there, she knew who to love and how to love, she knew that if she acted like many people think she did her empire would crumble apart. Also she modelled herself after the goddess Isis, who is faithful to her husband. If she did take other lovers, we would have known ... thanks for reading guys

Meera on Jun 11, 2010


^ Very Interesting. Maybe they could hire you as a consultant.

germs on Jun 11, 2010


meera i agree. george's book was leagues better. love it!

tiff on Jun 11, 2010


another white actor for a non-white actor role? Sure why not, i mean doesn't seem like Hollywood cares at all about race. White actors can play any race! WOOT WOOT! *sarcasm*

Roderick on Jun 12, 2010


Roderick #10 It doesn't matter that a white actor is taking a non-white role. Non-whites do not offically exist in Hollywood. So, Sam Worthington would be an ideal Cleopatra. And Corey Haim as Caesar......oh.....

Harry on Jun 13, 2010


Harry, they do exist and there are plenty and extremely talented. But Hollywood stays racist for no reason but they simply believe, that the audience would connect to a well known white actor than a lesser known non white actor.

Roderick on Jun 13, 2010


Steotypical bullcrap from hollywood...agree with Roderick

julian on Jun 14, 2010


Response to myth Cleopetra was African point blank. The Romans depiction of Cleopetra in art was their interpertation of her image. She more than likely resembled Iman, Naomi Campbell or people from that area during that era. Think about it this way when you look at hieroglyphics the Egyptian queens wear their hair braided. The only race of people where a large portion wear their hair braided are Black.

Karla on Jun 15, 2010


Angelina is too OLD and WHITE to protray Cleopatra. Here is my cast selection: Robert Denario as Caesar . Exceptional Italian American Actor, Age Appropriate, and protray an exceptional Roman World Leader. Antonio Banderas as Mark Anthony Hisipanic bronze skin would light up the romantic sceens in this movie, Buff, and Tough Roman Soldier Uniform would look Delicous on him. Exceptional Actor and Age Appropriate. Last but not least; Zoe Saldana as Cleopatra Exceptional Actress, stared in Avatar, Star Trek, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Zoe is age appropriate-young, proper skin tone not too dark, not too light just the right color to protray a Northern African Black Queen. In addition according to historical records that describe Queen Cleopatra’s boy like body figure, petite when she was unrolled out of the carpet before Caesar. She has all of the phsyical attributes to protray a TRUE depiction of Cleopatra. Instead of complaining about the insane cast of this movie that will flop unless, those in power decide to hire the proper actors and actress to make the movie more Factual verses Fictional. This is my resolution to resolving this hillarious casting issue. Which will generate a broad audience spectrum from Black, Hispanic,Italian/white(s) to attend this movie. THE END!

Realistic on Jun 15, 2010


Realistic is not realistic at all. Cleopatra was not "white". The Romans did not depict her in their image. Egypt, itself, is not a Black African culture. This is African American hearsay. Egypt was and still is multi-racial. Cleopatra was Ptolemaic and Angelina Jolie playing that role is not a big deal. African Americans, and those who side with this nonsense that EVERY one who lived on the African continent should be played by them, are just off when it comes to this. Egypt was neither white nor black nor anything except Egyptian. The descendants of those Egyptians live in Africa, Asia, and yes, in EUROPE (think the Balkans, Greece, etc). If this woman has roots in that part of Europe than she SURE CAN play this role as it would be a homage to her people's ancestors. Unfortunately, some people have a tendency to not see the forest for the trees and every single role of an Egyptian is now supposed to be played by an African American. If an Egyptian protests, then someone cries out racist. Think Anwar Sadat. Give me a break. She was never "Black". That term is not used in the Old World and is a product of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. I find it interesting to see African Americans on some forums (if they really are AA and not someone trying to perpertrate a fraud on thier behalf) complain about Egypt as if they had anything to do with it. How insulting would it be if an EGYTPIAN decided to play an African American role??? And, used their terminology to describe everything in context? I am sure AA would come out in droves to protest this. So why can't you understand what you look like to us? And no we a re not "arabs" or anything else except EGYPTIAN. Cleopatra was a Greek and Angelina looks a lot like people from that area of Europe. This doesn't need to be justified as sciewnce and all historical documents point to her as being this way. While it could very well be anyone playing this role, having Jolie play the Queen is not a far cry. She radiates these qualities and is known for being just like a ruler. I would pay to see HER than anyone else actually. The role was written for her with her in mind. Get over yourselves. If you don't like that, make a movie that shows you in it. But if you end up making a "Black Cleopatra" that only shows that it really bothers you so much that you would shortchange yourself by making a knockoff film based on something some "white" person did.

Abdul S on Jun 19, 2010


I think Angelina Jolie has the acting skill, and the European look for Cleo. Give her a tan, and watch her perform. Historians are not proof positive about Cleopatra's looks. If this was a Documentary then I could see being so factual, but its a movie made in Hollywoood for entertainment purposes. I do think Robert Denerio, and Antonio Banderas would be great, Angelina has worked with both actors before. Also, I could care less about her private life!!!!!!!!! Love her acting.

Maria on Jun 24, 2010

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