Movies & TV

Wonder Woman's Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins Are Teaming Up for a Cleopatra Biopic

After years of rumors, a remake is finally happening.

Gal Gadot is officially entering the biopic arena. Earlier today, Deadline reported that the Israeli star will portray the legendary Egyptian queen in a historical drama directed by her "Wonder Woman" pal Patty Jenkins. Laeta Kalogridis, who wrote "Alexander" and "Shutter Island," will pen the film.

The announcement came after Paramount prevailed in a heated bidding war for the film's rights, beating out Apple, Netflix, Warner Brothers, and Universal. According to Deadline, Paramount's promise of an accelerated timeline and a big budget theatrical release helped seal the deal.

Per Variety, Hollywood producers have been trying to get a Cleopatra reboot off the ground for years. At one point, Angelina Jolie was slated to star in a project backed by Sony. Then there were rumors that Lady Gaga was being considered for the part after her critically praised performance in another remake, "A Star Is Born."

But the last person to officially take on the role of Cleopatra was Elizabeth Taylor in 1963. In that version of the story, Taylor played up the Egyptian queen as a manipulative seductress stuck in a love triangle with Marc Antony and Julius Caesar. The film gained huge notoriety for its excessive production costs, including a record-setting salary for Taylor. At the time of its release, Cleopatra was the most expensive film ever made. Costing 44 million dollars, the film almost bankrupted 20th Century Fox. Hopefully, the team at Paramout will be able to keep their spending more in check.

Gadot and Jenkins last collaborated on "Wonder Woman 1984," the sequel to 2017's blockbuster hit. WW 1984's release date was just pushed to Christmas Day 2020 due to the Coronavirus. Gadot took to Twitter to comment on the announcement. "I love embarking on new journeys, I love the excitement of new projects, the thrill of bringing new stories to life.Cleopatra is a story I wanted to tell for a very long time. Can’t be more grateful about this A team!!"


This story originally appeared on Esquire.comMinor edits have been made by the editors.

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Abigail Covington
Abigail Covington is a journalist and cultural critic based in Brooklyn, New York but originally from North Carolina, whose work has appeared in Slate, The Nation, Oxford American, and Pitchfork.
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