Jolie has lined up “Africa” as her next directorial project, based on Kenyan fossil hunter and politician Richard Leakey’s longtime battle against ivory poaching on the continent. It will be produced by Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, along with Jon Peters and Angelina Jolie.
She will work from a screenplay by Oscar-winning “Forrest Gump” writer Eric Roth. Cinematographer Roger Deakins, who shot “Unbroken,” is also on board to shoot “Africa.” (Read our Deakins interview here.) Jolie had admired Roth’s adaptation of Stacy Schiff bestseller “Cleopatra,” which has been seeking a director. Is this now back-burnered at Sony as Jolie favors directing over acting?
Jolie, who already had quite the year with box office hit “Maleficent” ($700 million and counting worldwide) is currently directing the mid-70s romance “By the Sea,” in which she stars alongside Brad Pitt as a former dancer traveling in France. That film marks somewhat of a departure for Jolie, who as a director has so far told urgent and gritty political stories such as “In the Land of Blood and Honey.”