Angelina Jolie will star in Oscar-nominated director Pablo Larraín’s next movie, a biopic about famous opera singer Maria Callas.
Titled “Maria,” the film “tells the tumultuous, beautiful, and tragic story of the life of the world’s greatest opera singer, relived and re-imagined during her final days in 1970s Paris,” according to its logline. Steven Knight (“Spencer,” “Peaky Blinders,” “Eastern Promises”) wrote the script.
Callas was an American-born Greek soprano singer and one of the most famous opera singers of the 20th century. She was born in Manhattan and received her opera training in Greece when she was 13 and later moved to Italy for her career. Throughout the years, she dealt with near-sightedness that left her nearly blind and multiple scandals in her personal and professional life. She had an intense rivalry with Italian opera singer Renata Tebaldi, plus an affair with Aristotle Onassis (who later married Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who coincidentally was the subject of Larraín’s film “Jackie).
“Having the chance to combine my two most deep and personal passions, cinema and opera, has been a long-awaited dream,” Larraín said. “To do this with Angelina, a supremely brave and curious artist, is a fascinating opportunity. A true gift.”
“I take very seriously the responsibility to Maria’s life and legacy. I will give all I can to meet the challenge. 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,” said Jolie.
Larraín’s previous two biopics, last year’s “Spencer” starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana and 2016’s “Jackie” with Natalie Portman as Kennedy Onassis, both garnered best actress nominations for its two leading ladies. The acclaimed director also received an Academy Award nomination for best foreign language film for his 2012 Chilean historical drama “No,” the first nod for the country.
“Maria” 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.
Jolie is repped by WME and attorneys Robert Offer and Lindsey Strasberg at Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.