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Author Essex retells ‘Kleopatra’

Schroeder, Zide/Perry to co-produce tale of Egyptian queen

In a deal valued at mid-six against high-six figures, author Karen Essex will adapt her own two-part novel, “Kleopatra,” for Warner Bros. Pictures-based producer Adam Schroeder.

A retelling of the cultural and sexual politics that surrounded the legendary Egyptian monarch, “Kleopatra” is the result of more than 10 years of Essex’s research. Warren Zide and Craig Perry’s Zide/Perry Entertainment will co-produce the project.

The first installment of the “Kleopatra” epic opens when the future queen is just 3 years old and ends after she has married her half-brother and raised an army with her cousin and lover, Archimedes. The second half, on which the bulk of the screenplay is expected to be based, begins with the young queen in exile and waiting for Julius Caesar, and ends with her death. Warners senior VP production Bob Brassel is the exec on the project.

Published by Warner Books, the first half will be released Aug. 9, with the second to follow in August 2002.

Essex, who is also penning “Ramses the Damned” for Jim Cameron’s Lightstorm Prods., is repped by Zide. Literary manager Jennifer Frankel of Zide/Perry brought the project into the company and presented it to Schroeder VP Bryan Hickel.