Gal Gadot's Cleopatra movie has switched directors. Gal's frequent collaborator Patty Jenkins has exited Cleopatra to focus on two of her other high-profile projects: DC's Wonder Woman 3, and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron for Disney/Lucasfilm. Marvel's The Falcon and the Winter Soldier director Kari Skogland will replace Jenkins at the helm of Cleopatra, according to new reports. Cleopatra is set up over at Paramount Pictures under Atlas Entertainment (Wonder Woman, Justice League, Suicide Squad), with Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island, Altered Carbon) handling the script. This will be Skogland's big-screen debut, having worked as a TV director since the 1990s.
Hollywood is no stranger to the story of Cleopatra (and/or her infamous lover, Roman general Mark Antony). However, while in the past, actresses like Elizabeth Taylor have stepped into the role of the titular Egyptian queen, the modern landscape of racial diversity and historical inclusiveness make this a much more precarious social tightrope to walk.
When asked about the casting, Gal Gadot had the following to say about stepping into this modern take on Cleopatra:
"First of all if you want to be true to the facts then Cleopatra was Macedonian," Gadot told BBC Arabic's Sam Asi. "We were looking for a Macedonian actress that could fit Cleopatra. She wasn't there, and I was very passionate about Cleopatra."
The Wonder Woman actress added, "I have friends from across the globe, whether they're Muslims or Christian or Catholic or atheist or Buddhist, or Jewish of course... People are people, and with me I want to celebrate the legacy of Cleopatra and honour this amazing historic icon that I admire so much."
In closing, Gadot said, "You know, anybody can make this movie, and anybody can go ahead and do it. I'm very passionate that I'm going to do my own too."
Patty Jenkins' schedule has become somewhat hectic since Wonder Woman 3 was confirmed by Warner Bros. at DC FanDome 2021. However, the more recent announcement that a production timeline for Rogue One has been delayed indefinitely has fans thinking Wonder Woman 3 is the big project getting her focus. Then again, other rumors point to "creative differences" between Jenkins and Lucasfilm being a potential hurdle – something the director has experienced before when she had to drop out of Marvel's Thor sequel as its original director.
Cleopatra is in development.