MSN Movies Blog

Ang Lee expresses desire to direct Angelina Jolie in 'Cleopatra'

And good luck to him with that

By Corwin Neuse Jan 9, 2013 9:06PM
According to The Hollywood Reporter, acclaimed director Ang Lee ("Brokeback Mountain," "Life of Pi") has expressed his fervent desire to direct Angelina Jolie in an adaptation of Stacy Schiff's "Cleopatra: A Life," currently set up at Sony with producer Scott Rudin. And that's before he's even read the film's screenplay. The project has been previously linked to such directors as Paul Greengrass, David Fincher, and James Cameron, so we wish all the best of luck to Mr. Lee, should he ultimately win the job. He's going to need it.

Of course, it's hard to talk about any potential new "Cleopatra" film without mentioning the last "Cleopatra" film—imaginatively titled "Cleopatra"—that starred Elizabeth Taylor and is one of the biggest box office bombs of all time. Why would Hollywood tempt fate by returning to such risky material? We'd like to think that all the major studios—and independents, why leave them out of this?—were immune to such acts of fatal hubris, but then why do things like "Battleship" and "John Carter" keep happening?

Still, Ang Lee has the talent and experience to tackle such subject matter, so would be as good a choice as any should the project ultimately move forward. What do you think, Hitlisters? Should Lee be given the call? Or is there another directer, yet unmentioned, who would be a better fit for the project? As always, let us know in the comments...
Jan 10, 2013 11:05AM
Goofy writing and logic. I am not sure I get  why this is risky material when we don't know the budget of the film. It seems that Ridley Scott got Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven done without a monster budget and even Speilberg's sleep inducing Lincoln was not a financial back breaker. It is fairly unlikely that history should repeat itself as studios today will only spend big bucks on cartoon movies now which the two examples John Carter and Battleship prove not historical epics like in Elizabeth Taylor's time. That is perhaps the reason that it it taking so long to make and so many directors move on to other stuff.
Jan 10, 2013 9:22AM

I would vote for either Ang Lee or James Cameron. I think they both have the necessary vision to make a visually and thought provoking film, with that said, I should also mention I loved Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor. Maybe not a movie on the same level with, lets say the Piano but for that era I thought it was beautiful and entertaining. Isn't that what movies are supposed to be.  I don't always want to see a Shindlers List or a Lincoln. I also liked the movie John Carter, just because I like Edgar Rice Burroughs, it could have been done better, but I enjoyed the story. If you could imagine the new Cleopatra along the lines of a Avatar and Life of Pi, i think it would be fantastic. imho


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