David Fincher talks to direct Angelina Jolie in ‘Cleopatra’ break down

David Fincher has decided not to direct Angelina Jolie in Sony’s forthcoming “Cleopatra” epic – which actually puts him in pretty good company.

Talks between the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” helmer and the studio have broken off, according to Vulture, following reports of his attachment early last year. As a result, Fincher has become just the latest A-list filmmaker to depart the project, with James Cameron and Paul Greengrass having both previously circled the historical drama before bowing out.

Luckily, a gargantuan project like “Cleopatra” – particularly one boasting both Jolie’s star power and the allure of Academy-beloved producer Scott Rudin – is bound to draw more top-tier talent, and “Brokeback Mountain” director Ang Lee is just one of the auteurs reportedly circling the film at this time.

The updated cinematic interpretation of Cleopatra’s life and times is based on Stacy Schiff’s 2011 biography “Cleopatra: A Life,” which was optioned by Rudin as a starring vehicle for Jolie prior to publication.

The Egyptian Queen was portrayed most famously by Elizabeth Taylor in the budget-inflated 1963 film version of the ancient tale, which ended up losing money for 20th Century Fox despite being the highest-grossing film of that year. It was subsequently nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning four but losing out in all the major categories.

Do you think Fincher would have been a good choice to direct “Cleopatra,” or are his energies best directed elsewhere? Sound off in the comments.