‘Wonder Women’ Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins reteaming for epic ‘Cleopatra’

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Director Patty Jenkins, left, and star Gal Gadot appear on the set of “Wonder Woman.” [Warner Bros. photo]

“Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins are reteaming to tell the story of Cleopatra.

Deadline reports that Paramount Pictures has won an auction for the epic “Cleopatra,” besting Universal, Warner Bros, Netflix and Apple.

The historical drama will be penned by Laeta Kalogridis (“Shutter Island”), which means we will finally get a major motion picture that tells Cleopatra’s story from a female perspective.

The film will be produced by Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven, Jenkins, Gadot and her Pilot Wave Motion Pictures partner Jaron Varsano, with Kalogridis as executive producer. According to Deadline, the deal was sealed over the weekend after Gadot took part in a select number of Zoom pitches, accompanied by Jenkins, Roven and Varsano, with Kalogridis outlining an epic film based on the research she did after Gadot enlisted her. The film was Gadot’s idea and generated by her Pilot Wave shingle.

Kalogridis will begin writing immediately on the project, intended to be the next film together for Gadot and Jenkins.

Their initial partnership, the 2017 film “Wonder Woman,” scored rave reviews and took in a superheroic $822 million at box offices worldwide, according to Reuters. The anticipated sequel, “Wonder Woman 1984,” has been delayed three times due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is currently scheduled to be released in theaters on Christmas Day, but that’s contingent on the United States gaining some semblance of control on the pandemic.

Jenkins is among dozens of top Hollywood directors who have appealed to the U.S. government to provide financial support to cinemas suffering in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. That includes Regal Theatres owner Cineworld announcing last week that it was closing its U.S. and UK locations until further notice.

“If we shut this down, this will not be a reversible process,” Jenkins told Reuters in an interview from her home in Los Angeles. “We could lose movie theater-going forever.”

Despite the uncertainty in the movie industry caused by the pandemic, it’s exciting to see Paramount Pictures taking a chance on a big-time film that will bring a female creative team to the queen of Egypt’s iconic story.

Directed by Joseph Mankiewicz, the legendary 1963 film starred Elizabeth Taylor, who mostly portrayed the Egyptian royal as a seductress. Although it was a box office hit, the four-time Oscar-winning drama cost more to make than any film and nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox.

As the lover of Julius Caesar and later as the wife of Mark Antony, Cleopatra has been depicted in drama before, most notably when William Shakespeare penned the historical tragedy “Antony and Cleopatra” inspired by Plutarch’s “Parallel Lives.”

Cleopatra became queen on the death of her father, Ptolemy XII, in 51 BCE and ruled successively with her two brothers Ptolemy XIII (51–47) and Ptolemy XIV (47–44) and her son Ptolemy XV Caesar (44–30), according to Britannica.com. After the Roman armies of Octavian – the future emperor Augustus – defeated their combined forces, Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide. Egypt then fell under Roman dominion.

-BAM

 

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