According to Deadline, Amazon Studios has announced that they are developing a historical, drama series centering on the ancient queen Cleopatra. The producing team behind Starz Black Sails, including Jonathan E Steinberg, Robert Levine, and Dan Shotz, will be leading the Cleopatra project, after the team recently wrapped the fifth and final season of Black Sails.
Cleopatra is an iconic figure in ancient history, as one of the idenifiable female rulers of the ancient world. A member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, Cleopatra was the first ruler of the Greek-rooted dynasty to speak Egyptian. Along with Egyptian and Greek, she was known to speak nine languages. Known to the ancient world for her beauty, intellect, she is known in modern day for her seduction of and relationships of Julius Caesar and Marc Antony. The series will follow her both historical and fictitious intrigues.
Cleopatra has been the subject of multiple films, including the 1963 film starring Elizabeth Taylor. This will be the first television series in a long time to exclusively focusing on the Egyptian ruler. Based on what we saw in Starz’ Black Sails, we can expect a very high production quality (Black Sails won Primetime Emmys for sound editing and visual effects), as well as plenty of sex, violence, and betrayal in the series.
Amazon Studios is certainly stepping up its game in terms of content. According to Business Insider, Amazon as an e-commerce company has such financial stability that Amazon Studios is increasing its spending on original content in order to compete with high-quality content offered by HBO and Netflix. In 2017, Amazon is reported to have a content budget of $4.5 billion for this year, compared to $6 billion for Netflix. And with the news earlier this month that HBO will be pulling its content from Amazon Prime streaming site, there’s even more pressure for the studio. Shows to look for in the coming year will be Bryan Cranston’s The Dangerous Book for Boys, as well as a series based on the 2011 assassin film Hanna.
Stay tuned for more details about the development of the Cleopatra series.