Denis Villeneuve May Direct Angelina Jolie In Long-Developing 'Cleopatra' Film

1963's Cleopatra remains one of the great, terrible Hollywood stories. The hugely expensive, extravagant tale set during the Roman Empire was made for its glamorous but controversial stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, but it also nearly ruined 20th Century Fox in the process. Occasionally you hear about attempts to remake it in another huge Hollywood spectacle, and most recently it was David FIncher was looking to direct Angelina Jolie in a Cleopatra film that would be shot in 3D. He eventually dropped out five years ago, and the project has been dormant, but now Sony thinks they know the right director for the job: Denis Villeneuve.

The in-demand Blade Runner 2049 director is reportedly in talks to direct Cleopatra, although it remains unclear if Jolie is still attached to play the Egyptian queen. Villeneue already has a lot on his plate, to go along with his name mentioned for every major project in development. While he's been seen as a potential director for the upcoming James Bond movie, with Daniel Craig's full support, Deadline says that won't happen. Instead, they say Villeneuve will continue on with his adaptation of Dune, while working on Cleopatra at the same time.  Doesn't this guy sleep? 

There's already a screenplay in place by Eric Roth, Brian Helgeland, and David Scarpa, so that would seem to be in good hands. The only thing it needs now is an equally high-powered director and star, because I don't know if this Cleopatra happens any other way.  Here's a synopsis for the bestselling Stacy Schiff novel from which the film will be based:

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. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first and poisoned the second; incest and assassination were family specialties. She had children by Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, two of the most prominent Romans of the day. With Antony she would attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled both their ends. Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Her supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order.