One could make the case that Ang Lee is a somewhat underappreciated director, simply because his film choices make him a bit of a chameleon. Where other filmmakers tend to stake their claim to a particular milieu, and don’t deviate from it too much, Lee has tried it all. From a gay romance, a Civil War-era western, a Woodstock-set comedy, a churning ’70s-set domestic drama, an erotic espionage tale and more, to an epic open-sea adventure in this year’s Oscar-contending “Life Of Pi,” Lee’s career has been marked by variety, and a willingness to challenge himself. And that’s not about to change.
At the end of last summer, it was reported that David Fincher had exited the long-developing “Cleopatra,” that has Angelina Jolie attached to star. At the time, it was noted that Sony was already looking at other potential directors, with Ang Lee on their list of names. And it looks like they’ve been successful not only in tracking him down, but spurring his interest.
“I’m about to read the script,” Lee said to The Hollywood Reporter. “It just feels right to me after all the other types of films I’ve done. What does it have in common with any of them? They’re all totally different! That’s what makes this perfect.”
Based on Stacy Schiff‘s “Cleopatra: A Life,” the adaptation has a script by Brian Helgeland, and it’s told from a distinctly female perspective, delving into the many facets of the historical figure as warrior, strategist, politician and seductress. The project has been toyed with by more than a few big-name helmers — James Cameron and Paul Greengrass also took a look in past — but nothing has stuck yet for Sony, Jolie or producer Scott Rudin. Could Lee unlock this project? We’d definitely be interested to see him take this on.