Cleopatra, once brought to life in 1963 by Elizabeth Taylor in one of the most expensive movies ever made, is returning to the screen.
This time, though, the famous Egyptian queen is aiming much smaller, with a TV series in works at Amazon Studios. The drama, which is described by Deadline as a “revisionist take on one of history’s most misunderstood women”, is pitched as The Godfather, but set in Ancient Egypt, with Cleopatra surviving a bloody coup and having to use her wits and political scheming to survive – and take back her throne.
If that sounds gruff, gritty and violent, it comes as no surpise that the series is the brainchild of Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine, who were also behind the gruff, gritty and violent take on the piratical life with their series Black Sails. The Starz seafaring drama reached its fourth and final season last month, concluding the saga of Captain Flint in the years before Treasure Island. That programme aired exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in the UK, and now, Steinberg, Levine and Black Sails EP Dan Shotz are sailing back into the online giant’s waters for Cleopatra.
The trio will exec-produce the project alongside Mary Beth Basile (Life Unexpected) from Basile Ring Entertainment.
Little more is known about the series, but after several attempts at a Cleopatra series never quite getting off the ground, Amazon’s hefty backing suggests that this is likely to get beyond a pilot to reach a full series. Watch this space for more as we have it.