Gal Gadot will be playing Cleopatra VII Philopator, the queen of Egypt, in a biographical epic that’s finally coming to fruition after being stuck in development hell for years.
Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984 helmer Patty Jenkins will be reuniting with Gadot for the film, set to direct from a screenplay written by Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island, Alita: Battle Angle, Altered Carbon).
Paramount Pictures won the high-profile project in an auction – a battle that also included big-wig studios Universal, Warner Bros, Apple and, of course, Netflix. Deadline broke the news, reporting that the deal’s close came about with a number of Zoom pitches with talent that included Jenkins and Gadot, the latter of whom drove the idea via her production banner Pilot Wave Motion Pictures (Gadot is also attached to produce the film).
The plan is to move quickly on this big-budget feature. Kalogridis, brought on by Gadot, is to start writing the script immediately and Paramount is reportedly looking at “an accelerated timetable” to have the film released in cinemas as early as possible. The project is long overdue, having been in development for a number of years at Sony and attracting directors such as James Cameron and David Fincher and stars such as Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga.
Elizabeth Taylor memorably starred as the royal in a 1963 epic, Cleopatra, from director Joseph Mankiewicz. The film had a troubled production and spiralling production costs that saw it become the most-expensive film ever made at that time. Despite performing decently at the box office and earning four Oscars, the picture almost bankrupted studio 20th Century Fox.
A member of the Macedonian Greek royal family, the Ptolemaic dynasty, Cleopatra ruled for over two decades. Her larger-than-life journey saw her become the lover of Caesar and then Marc Antony.
Jenkins and Gadot’s DC sequel Wonder Woman 1984 will be hitting US cinemas on Christmas Day and Australian cinemas on Boxing Day.