Denis Villeneuve to remake the troubled 1963 historical epic Cleopatra.

Denis Villeneuve is currently flying high with reactions to early screenings for Blade Runner 2049 being extremely positive to say the least and the incredibly busy director (5 films in the last 4 years) doesn’t appear to have any plans to slow down his output with reports emerging of him taking on a bold new project. The director is said to be in early talks to direct Sony’s long-in-development biopic Cleopatra. Said to be based on the book Cleopatra: A Life by Stacey Schoff, it details the life of the Egyptian ruler and how she created a dynasty before her eventual downfall due to her love affair with Roman soldier Marc Anthony. The project has previously been linked to both Paul Greengrass and James Cameron.

If this turns out to be true then it may put an end to any speculation of Villeneuve directing the next Bond movie, with rumours recently swirling that he was said to be on the shortlist of potentials and was said to be the main choice of Daniel Craig himself for Bond 25. There have been rumours that Barbara Broccoli is interested in bringing on a female director for the role, so it could be a case of Villeneuve sensing that he wouldn’t get the job anyway. Villeneuve is currently attached to direct a Dune reboot for Legendary Pictures and it is expected that he will helm this feature whilst developing Cleopatra as his following project.

If a new adaptation of Dune wasn’t enough of a Herculean task given how difficult it was to get David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation to the big screen, following this up with what is essentially a remake of the 1963 film, Cleopatra would seem like madness. The story of the production of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s historical epic is the stuff of Hollywood legend and to call the shoot troubled would be an understatement of suitably epic proportions. If anyone is to break the curse of bringing the story of the Egyptian Queen back to the big screen then it’s the man who may well have pulled off the impossible and made a sequel to Blade Runner that’s more than worthy of the lofty status of Ridley Scott’s original science-fiction masterpiece.

Source; Variety, Daily Mail.