EXCLUSIVE: Following the massive success of directing Marvel series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Kari Skogland looks to have found her next film project and will be teaming up with another superhero star in the process. Sources tell Deadline that Skogland is set to direct Paramount’s Cleopatra, starring Gal Gadot.
Skogland steps in for Patty Jenkins, who was attached to direct and is pivoting to a producing role. Jenkins fell off as director so she could focus on her next two projects: Wonder Woman 3 and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron.
Paramount won the rights to the hot package last fall to the biographical drama scripted by Laeta Kalogridis. The film will be produced by Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven, Jenkins, Gadot and her Pilot Wave Motion Pictures partner Jaron Varsano. Kalogridis will be the exec producer.
Cleopatra is the daughter of Ptolemy, ancestor of the leader of Alexander the Great’s army. When Rome’s ruler Julius Caesar’s mentor-turned-rival Pompey fled to Egypt after a brutal war for control of the empire, Egypt became a fixation of Roman rulers. Two siblings battled for the throne of Egypt. After winning that internal struggle by appealing personally to Caesar, Cleopatra had a complicated relationship with Rome, becoming the lover of Caesar and later Marc Antony. The latter alliance would become the undoing of both Antony and Cleopatra.
Skogland had been eyeing several properties after directing every episode of Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The scope of the series, which played like a Marvel tentpole, appealed to execs for what they are aiming for with this film. Her first big break came as one of the key directors on the early seasons of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. She is repped by WME and Anonymous Content.
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