David Ellender’s Slingshot Global Media is developing Cleopatra as a TV series with Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth, Elizabeth: The Golden Age) attached to write and direct. Slingshot Global will distribute the series. A search is underway for an actress to play the famous queen of ancient Egypt.

SlingshotThe series will be a new take on the life story of Cleopatra. Instead of focusing on the arch seductress made famous by her affairs with men like Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, the show will highlight the opposite – that these men were famous because of her. It will follow the narrative of an 18-year-old girl who came to be a pharaoh and a queen – a woman who was brighter, more intelligent, richer and a better administrator and ruler than the men of her time. The series will reimagine Cleopatra’s history, reinventing her as the modern woman, a woman that understood the power of myth and turned herself into a myth, constantly reinventing herself. It will highlight her great loves and her survival in the face of repeated assassination attempts, which made her one of the most dangerous, yet most powerful, thrones of all time.

“Cleopatra is probably the most famous and the least known/understood figure in all of time,” said Kapur. “Her life will reflect a modern-day parable of our lives today.”

Director, writer, and producer Kapur is best known for directing Cate Blanchett in the Oscar- and BAFTA-nommed Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Also known for his work in Indian cinema, Kapur has directed such successful films as Masoom, Bandit Queen and Mr. India. He is repped by CAA, Sentient Entertainment and Alexander, Lawrence, Frumes & Labowitz.

“We couldn’t think of a better filmmaker than Kapur to tackle this subject,” added David Ellender, CEO of Slingshot Global Media. “As he did with Queen Elizabeth, Kapur will reveal the human being behind the myth.”