It appears we’ll never get to see David Fincher’s iteration of Cleopatra. The director began eyeing the project back in March of 2011, but now it appears that talks between Fincher and Sony have broken off and he’s no longer involved. Angelina Jolie has long been attached to star in the film based on Stacy Schiff’s book Cleopatra: A Life. Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button scribe Eric Roth entered talks to pen the screenplay late last year, but the last update about the project came from Fincher himself last December:
“Cleopatra, I haven’t even begun. I’ve just spoken with Angie [Angelina Jolie] and Eric [Roth] and I’m trying to figure out how to weigh in. It’s just a discussion about what can it be, what are people expecting, what do we need to do to destroy that?”
Hit the jump for more on the future of Cleopatra and what other projects Fincher is circling for his feature film follow-up to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
News of Fincher’s non-involvement comes via Vulture, who reports that Sony is now “seeking other candidates” for the director’s chair including Brokeback Mountain’s Ang Lee, though they’re quick to point out that no offer has been made and no negotiations have taken place. Scott Rudin is presumably still producing the project.
Sony was eager to stay in the David Fincher business following 2010’s The Social Network, but the studio and Fincher apparently butted heads quite a bit during the production of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. That film was far from a box-office disaster, but it wasn’t exactly the runaway hit that Sony was hoping for. Development on the sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire, continues to remain in the scripting stage with no firm commitment from Fincher on whether he plans to come back and direct the sequel or not.
Fincher recently wrapped his first foray into television, the pilot for the Netflix political thriller series House of Cards with Kevin Spacey. He’s also developing a big-screen adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea which he previously stated will probably be 70% CG. He has yet to settle on his next feature film project, but I sincerely hope it’s 20,000 Leagues. Seven scribe Andrew Kevin Walker came on to do some rewrite work on Scott Z. Burns’ initial script late last year, though we haven’t heard much about the film in the meantime since Fincher has been busy with House of Cards.