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‘Blade Runner 2049’ Director Denis Villeneuve in Early Talks for ‘Cleopatra’

Angelina Jolie has been attached to the project in the past

“Blade Runner 2049” helmer Denis Villeneuve is in early talks to direct Sony’s “Cleopatra,” an insider told TheWrap.

The “Cleopatra” project is based on Stacy Schiff’s best-selling book, “Cleopatra: A Life.” Last year, “The Last Castle” writer David Scarpa was attached to rewrite the long-dormant biopic.

Angelina Jolie was once attached to star in the project, and she attempted to lure David Fincher to direct. The proposed film was the subject of some of the most caustic emails leaked after the Sony hack in November 2014.

The narrative began around anxiety over director Fincher possibly being persuaded by Jolie to leave the Scott Rudin-produced “Jobs” biopic to direct a “Cleopatra” update, limiting his window to helm “Jobs” and its then-attached star, Christian Bale. Rudin had no patience for Jolie’s efforts and warned then-Sony film chief Amy Pascal that she had to put a stop to Jolie’s efforts. “Jobs” ended up at Universal with Danny Boyle directing Michael Fassbender in the title role.

However, luring Villeneuve, who is coming off the critically acclaimed “Arrival” and recently directed “Blade Runner 2049,” which hits theaters October 6, is a needed win for Sony and embattled film chief Tom Rothman, which lost its financing deal with Texas-based LStar Capital in July.

Villeneuve is represented by CAA.