In today’s desert of movies, now and then, an oasis appears on the horizon. Something to look forward to. Something to aim towards. It sounded like Cleopatra was one such movie.

A new movie about Cleopatra had been in the works for many years to tell the story of the iconic Egyptian queen and her quest for power. It sounded quite thrilling. Political machinations, sex, assassinations, what is not to like?


Brian Helgeland was one of the most recent writers brought in to work on the script. It all sounded very juicy. Helgeland said in an interview:

“I was the very first writer on Cleopatra when it was being developed for Angelina Jolie to star in, which was almost made. I don’t have anything to do with the current version unless they call me and want to use my draft.“

We’re not sure how long ago this was, but it sounds like the newest version of any Cleopatra story has changed a lot from his script. He continued:

“The movie had elements of a political thriller with assassinations and sex. Lots of true events surprised me when I was writing it. For example, the day Caesar was assassinated – the Ides of March and all that stuff – she was in Rome. They were leaving for Egypt, and the reason why they had to kill him at that time was because he was headed out of town with her. That’s historically true and featured in the script.”

“She writes Marc Antony’s speech – ‘friends, Romans, countrymen’ – because he doesn’t know what to say, but she tells him what to say. It’s sort of her way of saying ‘f*** you’ to those guys because she’s smart enough and he’s not. I have no idea if that script is being used, but I’ll be very happy if it is.“

A writer who is actually interested in the historical facts surrounding the events? That’s rare these days. It also sounds like this script maybe wasn’t for the “modern audience” and so was scrapped in favor of a new version.

Denis Villeneuve has said he wanted to make a Cleopatra movie for a number of years. Patty “Don’t give her full creative control” Jenkins wanted to make one as well, starring Gal Gadot. Jenkins dropped out and was replaced with Kari Skogland, known for The Falcon and the Winter Solider. Jolie and Gadot have both seemingly given up on the project as well.

Who do you think should play Cleopatra? If it’s not Danny DeVito, I’m out!


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