James Cameron to direct Angelina Jolie in Cleopatra 3D?

James Cameron is rumoured to be in talks with Sony Pictures Entertainment to direct Cleopatra 3-D, starring Angelina Jolie as the doomed Egyptian queen.

According to Deadline, “the talks are serious but by no means conclusive”.

The project was supposedly fast tracked into production by SPE co-chair Amy Pascal after she received Brian Helgeland’s screenplay, which is based upon Stacy Schiff’s book Cleopatra: A Life. The Deadline report also claims that Pascal wants to begin production in 2011, and that she is fully aware that the film will be an expensive (and perilous) endeavour.

It wouldn’t be the first time a Cleopatra film proved to be a risky bet for a studio. In 1963, the budget for Joseph L. Mankiewicz‘s Cleopatra ballooned from US$2 million to $44 million (that’s a 2010 budget of $14 million growing to approximately $313 million). Although the Elizabeth Taylor-starring feature was a box office success, it nearly bankrupted studio 20th Century Fox.

Of course, you don’t hire James Cameron if you’re looking to tighten the purse strings. Should he become involved, expect the project to be a similarly expensive ordeal.

More news as it develops.

Discuss: Would you like to see Cameron take on the tale of Cleopatra, or head back to the floating forests of Pandora?

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