Wonder Woman is soon going to be more than just a princess. Actress Gal Gadot is slated to play Cleopatra, the mononymous Queen of the Nile. As first reported by Deadline, Gadot is attached along with her Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. Their upcoming sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, has been repeatedly delayed, anticipation for which may have helped to get this project off the ground because it represents the kind of large-scale epic with the potential to eventually draw audiences back to theaters.
The other big player involved in deal is screenwriter and executive producer Laeta Kalogridis, known for Shutter Island and Alita: Battle Angel. Charles Roven of Atlas Entertainment and Jaron Varsano of Pilot Wave Motion Pictures will produce along with Gadot and Jenkins. Paramount Pictures, led by president Emma Watts and chairman/CEO Jim Gianopulos, beat out other contenders like Universal and Netflix, according to Deadline, to produce this film.
Cleopatra’s most famous cinematic foray was in 1963. Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s film ran over three hours and cost more than $40 million to make. It earned nine Oscar nominations, losing Best Picture to Tom Jones. It won trophies for cinematography, art direction-set direction, and costume design (all color), and special visual effects. It’s not yet clear if this new adaptation will be quite as costly or how many awards it will rack up when it’s eventually released, but this is a major project with the potential to deliver both people into theaters and excitement for audiences that love strong female historical protagonists.