Monday, April 20, 2015


- Amy Pascal wrote last November: "i bet that africia movie never happens and we should have her do it (Salt 2) before cleopatra".  Now that her prediction is close to coming true as Africa is said to be stalled, the line to get Angelina's attention has grown and Salt 2 has strong competition from Captain Marvel.  I imagine that Disney is also scrambling to get Maleficent 2 in.  There is perhaps a 12-month window before Cleopatra starts, assuming everything else proceeds smoothly and Scorsese finishes Silence by the end of this year.  While Marvel is reportedly in "hot pursuit", Captain Marvel doesn't fit in with the type of movies she has said she wants to direct.  Writers were just hired so the script isn't ready, and heavy VFX may demand a long post production that could cut into Cleopatra prep.  So if Sony managed to develop a good script for Salt 2, it may have the best chance of moving forward. 

-  Given Martin Scorsese's expressed interest and excitement in making Cleopatra, manifested in the speed with which negotiations progressed after his meeting with Eric Roth, it seems safe to assume that a deal was finalized not long after.

- While many names were bandied about, Angelina was only really interested in two directors for Cleopatra:  Martin Scorsese and David Fincher.  Fincher was apparently interested but both Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin were not keen on getting him for the film.  Sony execs were also lukewarm about Scorsese saying he takes too long and tended to bloat the film's budget.  At one pint, Pascal, Rudin and Roth were all pushing for Ridley Scott.   But Angelina repeatedly expressed reservations and was steadfast in her desire to get Scorsese.  It was her determination that got them to the point where they were finally poised to sign a deal with him.

- It is apparent that Angelina's ex-manager, Geyer Kosinski, from whom she reportedly split in 2013, is now totally out of the loop.   Page Six attributed their parting to her dropping Gravity (which caused a brief "glitch" in her relationship with Alfonso Cuaron).   He was also trying to attach her to questionable projects like Scarpetta which he hoped to executive produce.  In explaining the split, Angelina told THR ""I like to work very directly with people, I don't want somebody in the middle. I'd rather speak for myself."  Rich Klubeck is her agent for directing but he was very engaged in developments for Cleopatra.

- While Scott Rudin helped initiate contact with Martin Scorsese, once Scorsese expressed serious interest, he then tried to discourage Angelina and Sony from pursuing him.  He kept telling them it was unlikely that Scorsese would make Cleopatra his next after Silence.  Among the reasons Pascal cited in moving to terminate his contract with Sony was that he "tried to talk Marty out of doing cleo and has done everything in his power to get him to do Sinatra instead."   His rep for being verbally abusive is also apparently well-deserved.  But his widely circulated derogatory remarks do not paint an accurate picture of Rudin's thoughts on Cleopatra or his relationship with Angelina.  Gawker picked a heated exchange, tucked among dozens of much more routine and level-headed ones, when Rudin was having a temper tantrum over the prospect of not getting Fincher for Jobs.  His temper only reared again in the end as he and Pascal fought over Job's fate. 

-- Fussy

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