Angelina Jolie will star in Oscar-nominated director Pablo Larraín’s upcoming film, a biopic about famed 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 reimagined during her last days in Paris in the 1970s”, according to its logline. . Steven Knight (“Spencer”, “Peaky Blinders”, “Eastern Promises”) wrote the screenplay.
Callas was an American-born Greek soprano and one of the most famous opera singers of the 20th century. She was born in Manhattan and received her opera training in Greece at the age of 13 and later moved to Italy for her career. Over the years, she faced myopia that left her almost blind and multiple scandals in her personal and professional life. She had an intense rivalry with Italian opera singer Renata Tebaldi, as well as an affair with Aristotle Onassis (who later married Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who was coincidentally the subject of Larraín’s film “Jackie”).
“Having the chance to combine my two deepest and personal passions, cinema and opera, has been a long-awaited dream,” Larraín said. “To do this with Angelina, an extremely courageous and curious artist, is a fascinating opportunity. A real gift.”
“I take the responsibility for Maria’s life and legacy very seriously. I will give everything I can to meet the challenge. Pablo Larraín is a director I have admired for a long time. Maria’s story with him, and with a screenplay by Steven Knight, is a dream come true,” said Jolie.
Larraín’s previous two biopics, last year’s “Spencer” starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana and 2016’s “Jackie” starring Natalie Portman as Kennedy Onassis, both garnered nominations for Best actress for her two leading ladies. The acclaimed director also received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film for his 2012 Chilean historical drama “No,” the first nod to 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 replaced by WME and attorneys Robert Offer and Lindsey Strasberg at Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.