Fincher is the third acclaimed director who bails out of the long-gestating project after James Cameron and Paul Greengrass left the gig in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
Angelina Jolie starrer "Cleopatra" has lost its director for the third time. Vulture reported that "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)" helmer David Fincher has exited the long-gestating project, but the reason behind his departure remained unclear.
Fincher was the third filmmaker who decided to pass on the potential tentpole, which has been in development since 2010. Back in October that year, "Titanic" helmer James Cameron was attached to the gig, but he later let it go due to his commitment to the "Avatar" film franchise for 20th Century Fox.
Later in January 2011, "The Bourne Ultimatum" director Paul Greengrass was tapped to shepherd to movie. However, he bailed out of the project in March the same year and it was not clear as to why he made the decision. Fincher himself was approached by Sony Pictures soon after wrapping "Dragon Tattoo" for the studio.
Fincher's decision to quit the "Cleopatra" gig was quite surprising since he recently expressed his enthusiasm for the project. "That's something I would love to do with Angie. It's something that was brought to me that you have to take seriously," Fincher told MTV News.
Shortly after the helmer of "The Social Network" bowed out of the project, report has swirled that "Brokeback Mountain" filmmaker Ang Lee was approached to take over the directing duty. Though Lee was said to be the studio's top choice for the job, The Hollywood Reporter noted that no formal offer has been made for him.
"Cleopatra" has hired Eric Roth to adapt Stacy Schiff's book "Cleopatra: A Life". The story sees Cleopatra as a firm ruler and military tactician who embarked on a ruthless rise to power. She twice married her brothers, killing each of them as well as a sister.
Romantic alliances with the much-older Roman honchos Julius Caesar and Marc Antony helped her solidify power, but her dalliance with Antony undid both of them.