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Angelina Jolie will voice star in The One and Only Ivan, Disney’s adaptation of the Newbery Medal-winning book written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao.
Jolie adds the role to the one she already has on the project, that of producer. Allison Shearmur, who was one of the producers on Disney’s live-action take on Cinderella as well as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is producing the project with Jolie.
Thea Sharrock, director of the tearjerker Me Before You, is directing Ivan, which has a script by Mike White and is intended to be a live-action hybrid.
Published by HarperCollins in 2011, the book centers on a silverback gorilla named Ivan who lives in a cage in a shopping mall along with an elephant named Stella and a stray dog called Bob. Ivan does not remember life before the mall, but when a baby elephant named Stella enters and Ivan finds himself taking care of her, he begins to rediscover his previous life and concocts a plan to take the baby elephant away from their abusive owner.
Jolie will voice Stella.
The studio is now beginning to cast the net to find the actress who will play a janitor’s daughter, a character that is key in helping save Ivan and Stella.
Jolie has lent her voice to movies before, most notably co-starring in the Kung Fu Panda animated films, in which she voiced the character named Tigress. She also voiced a character in Shark Tale.
Jolie is repped by UTA and Media Talent Group.