Amazon Studios has put in development Cleopatra, a drama series about the famous Egyptian queen, I have learned. The project hails from the Black Sails trio of co-creators/executive producers Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine and executive producer Dan Shotz.
Written by Levine, Cleopatra is described as a revisionist take on one of history’s most misunderstood women, The Godfather in Ancient Egypt. After nearly losing her life in a bloody coup, Cleopatra must use her natural wit and political genius to take back her throne and restore honor to her family and kingdom.
In addition to writing, Levine is executive producing alongside Steinberg and Shotz of Quaker Moving Pictures and Mary Beth Basile (Life Unexpected) of Basile Ring Entertainment.
Steinberg, Levine and Shotz are coming off Black Sails, a prequel to the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel Treasure Island, which wrapped its four-season run on Starz last month.
There have been several attempts at launching a Cleopatra TV series in the past several years.
Most recently, David Ellender’s Slingshot Global Media put in development a Cleopatra TV series with Shekhar Kapur attached to write and direct. Before that, there was an NBC drama series project, which had a put pilot commitment, and Lifetime was developing a Cleopatra miniseries. And there is the long-gestating Cleopatra feature at Sony Pictures based on the Stacy Schiff bestselling book Cleopatra: A Life.
Levine, Steinberg, Shotz and Basile are all repped by WME. Additionally, Levine and Steinberg are repped by attorney Mark Wetzstein; Shotz by Barry Littman.