Wonder Woman team Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins have signed on to the historical drama Cleopatra. This is not the first Cleopatra-centric movie that’s floated around Hollywood in the years since Claudette Colbert and Elizabeth Taylor played her in 1934 and 1963, respectively. High-profile directors including David Fincher, Ang Lee, and Denis Villeneuve have been attached to direct different biopics about the famed Egyptian queen, with A-listers like Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga once attached or rumored to star.
While the progress on those Cleopatra projects at other studios is still unclear, it looks like one is finally gaining momentum. On Sunday, Deadline reported Gadot and Jenkins had signed on for Cleopatra. Additionally, Shutter Island scribe Laeta Kalogridis will write the script and serve as an executive producer. Deadline broke the news that Paramount Pictures had won the bidding war for the movie. The studio apparently beat out offers from Universal, Apple, Warner Bros., and Netflix.
Deadline’s report also includes an intriguing note about how this project came together. This particular Cleopatra project began as an idea from Gadot (plot specifics are unclear at time of reporting, by the way), who then enlisted Kalogridis to research and begin shaping the story. Gadot, Jenkins, and co-producer Charles Roven of Atlas Films participated in Zoom-based pitch meetings, with Kalogridis apparently joining to lay out story beats to prospective buyers. The deal was closed with Paramount and now the real work begins for Kalogridis as she starts writing the actual script. In addition to Roven and Kalogridis, the producer team includes Jenkins and Gadot and Jason Varsano, her Pilot Wave Motion Pictures partner.
We’ll keep you posted on Cleopatra as it develops. In the meantime, get updated on the latest Wonder Woman 1984 news here.
Allie Gemmill is the Weekend Contributing Editor for Collider. You can follow them on Twitter @_matineeidle.