It was reported this morning that Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot have signed with Paramount Pictures to more or less remake Cleopatra, the 1963 Joseph L. Mankiewicz catastrophe that came close to sinking 20th Century Fox.
Gadot and Jenkins will of course be making their own specific film about the legendary Egyptian queen, but the legacy of the 57 year-old Fox production looms large.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how interested is the HE community in seeing this new version? My honest level of interest is somewhere around five or six. But if there was a plan to make a narrative feature about the making of the Mankiewicz version, or more precisely a drama based on Kevin Burns and Brent Zacky‘s Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood, a 2001 doc that’s included in the Cleopatra Bluray package, my interest would instantly shoot up to 10.
This has been said over and over, but the Burns-Zacky doc is far more absorbing, entertaining and even more dramatic than the Mankiewicz film. If you’ve never seen it, here it is in two parts. Well worth the two hours.