Soderbergh preps 3D musical Cleo, GBV pens score

Steven Soderbergh
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With a four-hour Che epic, a top-shelf legal thriller and a porn-star-led comedy all ahead of him, Steven Soderbergh's next movie had to be big if he wanted to keep up the attention he’s received in recent years. And big it is. The director has tapped Catherine Zeta-Jones, Hugh Jackman and disbanded indie-rock outfit Guided by Voices for Cleo, a 3D rock musical about Cleopatra and her lover Mark Antony.

The film is planned to carry a $30 million price tag, roughly on par with the $45 million funneled into Across the Universe, another unconventional musical with similar ambition. Soderbergh has been know to alternate indiscriminately between different genres and styles, and this certainly fits the bill.

The film will mark Zeta-Jones' return to musicals since she won an Oscar for playing Velma Kelly in the screen version of Chicago. (She previously worked with Soderbergh on Traffic and Ocean’s Twelve.) Cleo will be Soderbergh’s first collaboration with Jackman, who has earned a reputation on stage over the years as well.

The score has apparently already been written by Guided by Voices with a screenplay to match by James Greer, who wrote a book on the band that included a foreword by Soderbergh. Exact collaborators are not clear, but members of the band have been involved in other work since they disbanded in 2004.

The film will be next in Soderbergh’s queue after he wraps The Girlfriend Experience, a comedy about high-cost call girls set to star porn darling Sasha Grey.

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