Angelina Jolie as CLEOPATRA?

Many of us associate the Queen of the Nile, Cleopatra, with the goddess Elizabeth Taylor in her hey day but Angelina Jolie, undoubtedly one of the most intriguing and most beautiful women in the world, is looking to change all that and put her indelible mark on the famous Egyptian Queen. Hollywood producer Scott Rudin bought the film rights to Stacy Schiff's forthcoming biography Cleopatra: A Life a whopping four years ago after reading a 10 page synopsis and finally now he is looking to set it up as a real movie with the A-lister. Schiff claims the script is already being written, and is "being developed for and with Jolie,". Elizabeth Taylor starred in the most memorable biopic about Cleopatra in 1963 alongside her real-life lover Richard Burton who played Marc Anthony. Joseph L. Mankiewicz's movie was one of the most expensive ever made (over $300 million budget in today's money), nearly bankrupting 20th Century Fox (before surprisingly, making a profit) as well causing much scandal in the press with passionate affairs, a complete botch job of filming in London (which they had to repeat in Rome) an almost universal critical hatred of the film, it's incredible running time of 244 minutes and it's wild historcial inaccuracy. All these factors are chronicled in the excellent documentary Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood. We're guessing this new movie won't be tight on budget, as with the legacy of the 1963 film - it's impossible not to make a grandiose and eccentric motion-picture that involves Cleopatra. We think it will be a large scale swords and sandals epic, heavy on drama, heavy on sex scenes and heavy on political intrigue. The press are having a field day predicting that Brad Pitt would be Fox's first choice for the Marc Anthony role, but that seems a little self-congratulating and Pitt has moved away from gimmick casting lately, working only with the biggest directors around. So to sum up - Jolie proved in Oliver Stone's Alexander that she can be good in this period genre and she has a certain look about her that lends itself to Cleopatra. You would feel comfortable talking about her as a modern day Elizabeth Taylor. But we think the casting of Pitt as Anthony would be a step too far. No word on who is writing the script, when it is set to film, or who the director is. In fact, we haven't got much to go on right now apart from the author's word that it is in development. But we thought it was interesting to post anyway... and it will certainly make interesting reading for Steven Sodbergh who has been planning a 1920's set, 3-D musical starring Hugh Jackman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Ray Winstone with a score by Guided by Voices that is currently on the back-burner until Hugh Jackman has a free schedule.
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Guest Writer has contributed 339 posts since joining in June 2007.