Paramount Pictures won the rights to the project, reportedly beating out other suitors such as Apple, Universal, Warner Bros. and Netflix. Gadot will get a chance to put her mark on a role previously essayed by the likes of Claudette Colbert and Elizabeth Taylor, playing a woman who romanced Julius Caesar and Marc Antony and served as the last ruler of Egypt’s Ptolemaic Kingdom. Taylor’s version proved to be so costly that 20th Century Fox nearly went bankrupt — hopefully this one will be less lavish.
There have been a number of Cleopatra projects kicking around Hollywood in recent years, including a project at Sony that at various points was rumored to star Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga. It’s unclear what’s going on with that project.
Laeta Kalogridis (“Shutter Island”) will write the screenplay for the Gadot/Jenkins take.
Paramount Motion Picture Group President Emma Watts and the studio’s chairman Jim Gianopulos reportedly pushed hard to land “Cleopatra.” Watts, who joined the studio in June, has had a galvanic effect at the company, where insiders say she’s been encouraging her colleagues to get more aggressive in finding splashy material and urging them to think more creatively about reinvigorating tired franchises.
Gadot is represented by WME and Jenkins is represented by CAA. The two are also collaborating on “Wonder Woman 1984,” the superhero sequel that is expected to debut in December.
Deadline broke the news that Paramount had nabbed the project.