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David Fincher Exits ‘Cleopatra’ With Angelina Jolie; Sony Searches For New Director With Eye On Ang Lee

David Fincher Exits 'Cleopatra' With Angelina Jolie; Sony Searches For New Director With Eye On Ang Lee

So, is David Fincher‘s relationship with Sony in trouble, or does Scott Rudin simply want to get moving on “Cleopatra” starring Angelina Jolie? It remains to be seen where the truth lies, but one thing is certain: David Fincher won’t be involved with the film.

The long, long gestating project has seen James Cameron and Paul Greengrass kick the tires over the past couple of years, but things seemed to gain steam with Fincher boarding in spring of 2011, with “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button” scribe Eric Roth hired to pen a draft by the end of the year. And even in December, Fincher was sharing his vision of the movie, saying it wouldn’t necessarily be your standard sword-and-sandals flick. But somewhere along the way, he has left the film.

Could his duties on Netflix‘s “House Of Cards,” where he is both directing and producing be throwing a spanner in the works, perhaps for producer Soctt Rudin, who might want to get this moving (especially since a small-screen incarnation at NBC on the way)? Or could Sony be having some cold feet after the steady but not explosive box office for the expensive “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” which went through a troubled production with Fincher butting heads with executives throughout the process? Or perhaps Fincher really does want to make “The Girl Who Played With Fire” next (even though Sony has said it won’t be coming until at least 2014). Whatever the reason, it goes on without him, so who will step in?

According to Vulture, Sony is already looking at a number of options, including Ang Lee (though nothing formal has been started yet). And he’s a pretty no-brainer pick at the moment, with his big epic “Life Of Pi” already earning lots of pre-release buzz and Oscar talk, and proving he can do a film on this kind of level. So why not? But as these things usually go, there are likely more names to be talked about in the conference rooms where this movie is being discussed.

Based on Stacy Schiff‘s “Cleopatra: A Life,” the adaptation had a first draft by Brian Helgeland, and unlike the infamous 1963 film with Elizabeth Taylor, this film will be from a distinctly female perspective, delving into the many facets of the historical figure as warrior, strategist, politician and yes, seductress. So it’s easy to see the movie potential in this. But whose hands it lands in next remains a mystery.

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