The last two actors director Pablo Larraín has worked with have landed Best Acting Oscar nominations, can Angelina Jolie be the next in line? She’s signed on to star in Larraín ‘s next project, a biopic about opera singer Maria Callas simply titled Maria.
Steven Knight, who wrote the script to Spencer, will once again collaborate with Larraín here, as the film seeks to tell the tumultuous story of the life of the world’s greatest opera singer, relived and re-imagined during her final days in 1970s Paris.
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 opera training in Greece at 13, before moving 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 Jackie Kennedy, subject of Larraín’s 2016 film Jackie.
Jolie said in a statement: “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.”
Larraín added: “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.”
As mentioned, Larraín’s two previous films, Spencer and Jackie, were also about real-life women and garnered Oscar nominations for the film’s stars, Kristen Stewart and Natalie Portman, respectively. Larraín himself also received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language film for his 2012 Chilean political drama, No.
Both Jackie and Spencer were unconventional biopics, much more impressionistic and personal, and were better off for it. Hopefully we can expect more of the same with Maria.