For his next directing effort, Steven Soderbergh is plotting a 3-D live-action rock ’n’ roll musical about Cleopatra.
He is courting Catherine Zeta-Jones to play the Egyptian queen and Hugh Jackman to play her lover, Marc Antony.
The $30 million “Cleo” will be shopped for financing and distribution within the next two weeks. Greg Jacobs is producing with Casey Silver.
The music has been written by the indie rock band Guided by Voices, and the script is by James Greer, a former bass player for the band and an author.
While Soderbergh has recently done a spate of wildly different projects, this one will be his first full-blown musical.
Soderbergh, who’s about to release the Benicio Del Toro starrer “Che” and wrapped Matt Damon starrer “The Informant,” is also prepping a Richard LaGravanese-scripted Liberace film at Warner Bros., with Michael Douglas attached to play the entertainer and Damon to play his companion, who sued him for palimony.
Before “Cleo,” Soderbergh’s directing “The Girlfriend Experience,” setting porn star Sasha Grey to play a $10,000-a-night call girl in a film that will be simultaneously distributed in theaters, on DVD and on the HDNet movie channel by Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner’s HDNet label.
Calls to Soderbergh’s reps went unreturned.