It was reported last week that the Oscar-winning director might focus on a 3-D version of “Cleopatra” starring Angelina Jolie for Sony Pictures as his next directorial vehicle, and to the dismay of “Avatar” fans everywhere, it appears that this isn’t just idle chit chat — according to the director himself, there’s a very real chance that “Cleopatra” is his next gig.
“There’s a Cleopatra project in work, meaning that it’s been in development at Sony,” the “Avatar” director told the New York Times. “And it’s a subject that’s always fascinated me. So yeah, I’ve been talking to them about it but no decisions have been made.”
“But it sounds hot, doesn’t it? I mean, Angelina Jolie and Cleopatra? To me, that’s like a slam dunk,” he continued. “Whether I wind up doing it or not, I think it’s going to be a great project.”
When it was pointed out to him that somebody may have said the same thing regarding Elizabeth Taylor and Cleopatra in the past, Cameron laughed and replied: “There were a lot of people betting against us on ’Titanic’ as well. That kind of stuff isn’t particularly daunting to me. The idea of 10-foot-tall blue people that were 100 percent CG, it was Smurf Planet, plenty of reasons why ’Avatar’ wasn’t going to work either.”
Indeed, Cameron has had the last laugh on both occasions, turning “Avatar” and “Titanic” into the two top-grossing films of all time. If he gets his hands on “Cleopatra,” there’s little doubt that the movie will be a commercial success and likely a critical one as well.
But fans of the space-spanning sci-fi odyssey that is the “Avatar” franchise — many of whom call 20th Century Fox their place of employment, no doubt — are likely crossing their fingers that Cameron passes on “Cleopatra” in favor of a return trip to Pandora. Cameron believes that sequels are likely, but still not completely guaranteed.
“I wouldn’t say it’s inevitable because we still haven’t worked out our deal with 20th Century Fox. So we’re still in an ongoing negotiation on that,” he said. “Because it’s a big piece of business, and I’m trying to map it out as a game plan that stretches forward 10 years. And they don’t like to think that long term. We’ll get it worked out, probably. I would assign a high probability to that. Whether that’s my next film or not remains to be seen.”
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