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Jackie and Spencer director Pablo Larraín looks set to continue to focus his lens on some of the most famous women in modern history, and has found his next subject in soprano Maria Callas. The Chilean director has also tapped another, equally well-known, figure to play his lead in Angelina Jolie.
Maria, based on true accounts, will reportedly relive and reimagine the “tumultuous, beautiful and tragic story” of the life of one of the world’s greatest opera singers during her final days in 1970s Paris. The hugely influential, America-born Greek icon — once described as “the Bible of opera” by Leonard Bernstein — is also linked to another of Larraín’s films, having famously had a love affair with Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, who later married Jackie Kennedy.
Written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, who reunites with Larraín following the director’s previous feature, Spencer, the film is produced by Juan de Dios Larraín for Fabula Pictures; Lorenzo Mieli for The Apartment Pictures, a Fremantle Company; and Jonas Dornbach for Komlizen Film.
“I take very seriously the responsibility to Maria’s life and legacy. I will give all I can to meet the challenge,” said Jolie. “Pablo Larraín is a director I have long admired. To be allowed the chance to tell more of Maria’s story with him, and with a script by Steven Knight, is a dream.”
Added Larraín: “Having the chance to combine my two most deep and personal passions, cinema and opera, has been a long-awaited dream. To do this with Angelina, a supremely brave and curious artist, is a fascinating opportunity. A true gift.”
Jolie is currently in postproduction on her fifth film as a director, Without Blood, the first under a new three-year deal she signed with Fremantle. She is repped by WME and attorneys Robert Offer and Lindsey Strasberg at Sloane Offer.
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