Gadot is attached to star as the Egyptian queen herself in the film, which is tentatively titled Cleopatra, Deadline reports. Jenkins, meanwhile, will serve as the director. Gadot and Jenkins previously worked together on Wonder Woman and its upcoming sequel Wonder Woman 1984, with Jenkins as director for both films and as a producer on the latter. Atlas Entertainment's Charles Roven, Jenkins, and Gadot and her Pilot Wave Motion Pictures partner Jaron Varsano will produce the project.
The deal for the film, which was Gadot's idea, closed yesterday following pitches for the film across Zoom. Laeta Klogridis, who has written screenplays for films such as Shutter Island and more recently Alita: Battle Angel, will pen the script and serve as executive producer. The deal was reportedly expedited because Paramount is looking to put together a heavy-hitting theatrical release relatively quickly, possibly over concerns as to how coronavirus has stalled film and TV productions across the world.
Multiple Hollywood studios have struggled to get the wheels spinning on Cleopatra-related projects for a few years now, with Variety reporting that Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga were at one point rumored to star in a film based on the historical figure.
Reactions to the casting have ranged from positive to outright confusion on social media. While an Egyptian queen, scholars have often identified Cleopatra as someone of Greek ancestry with debates regarding some Persian and Syrian ancestry, too. Gadot is an Israeli actress, and some have raised questions regarding whether she is fit to play the role.
Cleopatra was a mix of Macedonian/Greek (who were not white) and a hint of Persian. She was not black; more Middle Eastern (looks wise). Gal Gadot is probably too beautiful, in terms of modern standards, but she doesn't look as "white" as, say, Scarlett Johansson. It's fine.— Art Tavana (@arttavana) October 11, 2020
Gal Gadot will give a great Hollywood Cleopatra, in this ‘woke’ times I would’ve loved to see a brown skin girl and perhaps one that portrayed Cleopatras’ beauty (longer nose) that may not be Hollywood’s ideal.— Jay 🏳️🌈 💛🐝 (@DiamondHunter80) October 11, 2020
Cleopatra's family, the Ptolemies ruled in Egypt for centuries, the blood line had become mingled with the Egyptians. Every modern recreation of her actually shows her to be closer to a black woman than a Greek.— Hank (@SonOfNumenor313) October 11, 2020