As you know, one of the many, many projects currently sitting on director Denis Villeneuve's plate is a brand-new take on Cleopatra. So far, there's been little to go on in the way of information about the project, but in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, screenwriter David Scarpa (whose All The Money In The World hits theaters on Christmas) offers up a few enticing details.
Scarpa compares the two projects, saying (as quoted by The Playlist):
“(Cleopatra is) similar (to All the Money in the World) in that there’s a lot of research involved and there’s a question with all that of how do you want to do it and how do you make something new out of it? With Getty, part of the idea was to take two genres we felt we knew, which was the kidnapping genre and what we’ll call the ‘great man’ genre — the Citizen Kane genre — and smash them together and make something new out of them.
With Cleopatra … instead of doing the movie as the prestige picture — the three-hour, lots of pageantry, people with fans and English accents and all that stuff — (we) really treat it as a political thriller. Dirty, bloody, lots of people swearing and having sex and all of that other stuff and just treat it as a two-hour, lean, mean political thriller, full of assassinations, etc. Just going the opposite direction from the way we think that movie is going to go.”
A non-stuffy, violent, extra sexy version of Cleopatra? And it's directed by Denis Villeneuve? Oh, yes. Yes, we would like that movie very much, please. This isn't the direction we were expecting this one to head (in fact, we were certain this'd be Villeneuve's stab at a big-ass prestige picture), but that's totally fine. This version sounds way more interesting.
In any event, Cleopatra won't be Villeneuve's next. If all goes according to plan, the Blade Runner 2049 director will next apply his talents to an adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune, for Legendary Pictures. After Blade Runner 2049 failed to catch fire at the box, we kind've figured that one might've been back-burnered, but all signs point to Dune moving forward as planned. Nice.
Stay tuned for more on Dune and Cleopatra as the weeks fly by.