Ang Lee to direct ‘Cleopatra’ starring Angelina Jolie

Oscar-winning director Ang Lee said Saturday he will “probably” accept an offer to direct historical epic Cleopatra starring Angelina Jolie, after the Hollywood actress wrote to him asking him to come on board.

Lee, whose 3D adventure Life of Pi has earned 11 Oscar nominations, said he would read the script before making a decision but the project was “very attractive”.

“Sony has asked me to shoot the movie and Angelina Jolie wrote to me to express her wishes to collaborate. We admire each other… the project looks very attractive,” the Taiwanese-American told reporters in Taipei.

“It’s a big-budget movie so I am carefully evaluating it … this is a rare opportunity and I will probably take it.”

Lee returned to his birth place over the weekend to celebrate after Life of Pi earned 11 Oscar nominations, including best picture and best director.

The movie, based on the novel by Yann Martel about about an Indian boy cast adrift with a Bengal tiger, has become Lee’s highest-grossing film ever with more than $450 in global box office sales, according to 20th Century Fox.

About 70% of the movie was shot in Taiwan, including at a now-abandoned airport in the centre of the country where Lee’s team built a specially designed wave-generating tank.

Asked if he plans to cast his son Mason Lee, who starred in The Hangover Part II, in his future projects, Lee joked that he would rather not “torture” his kin.

“He likes acting and I give him my blessings… I am tough on actors but it’s difficult to be tough on your own son and it’d be an unnecessary torture for us. I’d rather torture other people’s kids.”

The filmmaker, who is based in New York, was hailed as the “glory of Taiwan” after becoming the first Asian to win a best director Oscar for his gay cowboy drama Brokeback Mountain in 2007.




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