Patty Jenkins will no longer be directing her Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot, in an upcoming Cleopatra biopic. Kari Skogland, who directed all six episodes of Disney Plus show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, will now be directing instead.
Jenkins will now be in a producing, rather than directing role. It was recently announced that Jenkins’ Star Wars project Rogue Squadron was delayed indefinitely, so this move away from Cleopatra may allow Jenkins to focus on that, as well as Wonder Woman 3.
Cleopatra was a Queen of Egypt and the last of the Ptolemic dynasty. She was descended from Ptolemy, one of Alexander the Great’s generals. Cleopatra became entangled with Roman emperor Julius Caesar, as well as Mark Antony and upon Cleopatra’s death, Egypt became part of the Roman Empire.
Her story famously inspired the Shakespeare play Antony and Cleopatra, as well as Elizabeth Taylor’s 1963 vehicle Cleopatra, which at the time, was the most expensive film ever made. Paramount will be hoping that this new version doesn’t almost bankrupt them, which is what happened to Twentieth Century Fox during the 60s version’s notoriously troubled production. And we cannot forget the 1964 British comedy classic Carry on Cleo, in which Sid James played Julius Caesar and Kenneth Williams played Mark Antony.
Gal Gadot was last seen fondling Cleopatra’s golden eggs in Netflix’s Red Notice, which seems like a convoluted tease for the upcoming biopic. Like many things associated with Cleopatra, the golden eggs are not real. However, Cleopatra’s tomb has never been found and if it was, it would be the most exciting find since Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered in 1922.
Other stories that have lasted through the centuries surrounding Cleopatra include her bathing in ass’ milk and being killed by an asp. While we don’t know for certain if the asp part is accurate, it is likely that Cleopatra was poisoned, although it was most likely administered by a needle, rather than directly from a snake bite.
It remains to be seen how many of these rumours Kari Skogland will choose to weave into her tale of Cleopatra. In the meantime, we have Jenkins’ other projects in the DCEU and the Star Wars universe to look forward to.