Denis Villeneuve eyeing Cleopatra as next movie

Cleopatra poster
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The Dune filmmaker is reportedly planning to tackle the legendary Egyptian ruler Cleopatra as his next project.

Here’s a rumour that we’re hoping has some legs. According to industry reporter Daniel Richtman (via World of Reel), director Denis Villeneuve is planning to follow up next year’s Dune: Part II with a film that focuses on the iconic Egyptian ruler, Cleopatra.

Apparently, Villeneuve is setting the project up at Sony Pictures and production is slated to begin at some point next year.

The idea of the project has been on Villeneuve’s slate for years now and boasts a script by David Scarpa, the writer who regularly collaborates with Ridley Scott these days (as he did on this month’s Napoleon).

Scarpa has previously mentioned that the film is a “political thriller. Dirty, bloody, lots of people swearing and having sex and all of that other stuff and just 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.”

Casting for the film is said to include Villeneuve’s Dune leads, Zendaya and Timothee Chalamet as Cleopatra and Octavius. In what sounds like casting perfection to us, Daniel Craig is reportedly in line to play Julius Caesar. That really could be a case of Bond is back. Er, sort of. Terrible gag. We’ll get our own coat.

What this means for Gal Gadot’s planned Cleopatra movie we don’t know, but given that the project has bounced around at a couple of studios now, not to mention having at least two directors, we wonder what state of production it’s in.

As we’ve seen in the past, when two competing projects are in the works, momentum can often be the deciding factor. We’ll bring you more on this one as and when we hear it. Early signs are that the Villeneuve take on the story is leading the way, but the director has to promote Dune Part II first – a little later than originally planned. It’s now out on 15th March 2024.

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