According to Vulture, director David Fincher has broken off talks with Sony to helm the remake of Cleopatra, which would see Angelina Jolie in the role as the infamous last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. Sony and producer Scott Rudin are clearly very passionate about the project as they are already looking for a replacement director, having drawn up a list that includes (among others) Ang Lee.
This decision does come as something of a surprise. In speaking to MTV, Fincher was very passionate about working with Jolie and his vision of the project, which would be a remarkably different take on the character in comparison to the infamous 1963 film that starred Elizabeth Taylor. He and Jolie saw the opportunity to portray her as a fearsome warrior and politician as opposed to the “sex kitten” character that Cleopatra has been portrayed as in the past.
It also would reunite Fincher with creative people which he has so far had a seemingly decent working relationship with. The film is headed up by Scott Rudin who worked closely and very successfully with the director on The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, both of which grossed over $220 million each at the box office. The latter is said to have “under-performed” but preparation on the sequel is well underway despite delays.
The film also got significant re-writes from Eric Roth who penned The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for David Fincher and the pair have had an excellent relationship since working together on that. So it is clear that Fincher hasn’t bowed out on creative grounds.
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