Angelina Jolie is never one to rest on her laurels, and in the last decade she’s been known for her philanthropic/humanitarian work around the world.
Deadline broke news that the Oscar-winning actress will take on directing duties for Skydance Productions’ Africa, written by Forrest Gump scribe Eric Roth and based on paleo-archaeologist Richard Leakey’s fight against ivory poachers in Africa (that nearly wiped out the country’s elephant population) during the late 1980s.
Of the project, Jolie said, “I’ve felt a deep connection to Africa and its culture for much of my life, and was taken with Eric’s beautiful script about a man drawn into the violent conflict with elephant poachers who emerged with a deeper understanding of man’s footprint and a profound sense of responsibility for the world around him.”
Skydance Productions’ CEO David Ellison – a philanthropist and humanitarian in his own right – said:
Based on Richard Leakey’s inspirational life, Africa is a story that deserves to be told. It is very close to my heart, and I know that it will exceed my expectations in Angelina’s hands. She is an incredibly talented filmmaker and is sure to turn Eric Roth’s impeccable script into the project I’ve always wanted Skydance to be involved in.
This isn’t Jolie’s first time at the directing rodeo. Back in 2011, she wrote and directed In The Land Of Blood And Honey, earning herself a Golden Globe nomination as well as the PGA’s Stanley Kramer Award in the process. Production on Africa will begin just as soon as Jolie finishes By The Sea – where she serves not only as writer/director, but also stars opposite her husband Brad Pitt.
Skydance has some big budget films in the works including the highly anticipated Terminator: Genisys, as well as the Jack Reacher sequel, Star Trek 3, and Mission: Impossible 5, so Jolie will seemingly have quite a bit of wiggle room to make sure the film grows into something that educates without coming off as “preachy” (or so I hope).
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