Coming off from directing Marvel Studios’ Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Kari Skogland has finally found her next high-profile project in the form of Paramount Pictures’ Cleopatra film. Deadline brings word that the Canadian filmmaker is officially taking over for Patty Jenkins as the new director for the upcoming Gal Gadot-led epic drama.
Despite the change, Jenkins remains attached to the project and has now assumed the role of a producer. She reportedly gave up her directorial duties on the film in order to shift her focus on her two other projects, the recently announced Wonder Woman 3, and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, which was recently delayed. Because of this, it debunks recent circulating rumors that Lucasfilm has shelved the highly-anticipated film due to creative differences between Jenkins and the studio.
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Paramount Pictures’ Cleopatra film is written and executive produced by Laeta Kalogridis (Alita: Battle Angel, Shutter Island). On top of starring, Gadot will also be serving as a producer with Jaron Varsano through her their Pilot Wave Motion Pictures. Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven will also be producing.
Cleopatra is one of the most famous historical figures to date. She was best known as the Queen of Egypt and was also a descendant of Ptolemy I Soter, the Macedonian Greek general of Alexander the Great’s army. She ascended to her throne after a civil war against siblings which she won with the help of Julius Caesar who became her lover. However, she later on had a relationship with Marc Anthony which would become the undoing of both Cleopatra and Antony.
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The titular Egyptian queen’s story has been adapted into the screen a number of times now, with the most notable one being the 1963 film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. At the time, that film was considered the most expensive film ever produced, but went on to win four Academy Awards and a domestic gross of $57.7 million. Though, it very nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox.