In 2005, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt co-starred in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, an action/comedy about a husband and wife whose dull marriage gets injected with fresh life when they each discover the other is a secret assassin working for a competing agency. The rest, as they say, is history; Jolie and Pitt’s onscreen chemistry helped make the film a success, before they got together in real life and have since become one of the most famous celebrity power-duos currently active in the biz.
Jolie has played the action star a few times since then and returns to the spotlight as the lead in Disney’s Maleficent later this month, but the Oscar-winner has already started to branch out into directing movies as well. Similarly, in recent years Pitt has begun serving as a key producer on more and more of the films he appears in, be it auteur fare like Tree of Life or studio tentpole World War Z; he’s even an Oscar-winning producer now, thanks to his behind the scenes involvement with getting 12 Years a Slave made.
Now, Jolie and Pitt are looking to collaborate on a new film – one which makes use of them as both stars and offscreen contributors. Deadline is reporting that Jolie and Pitt are in early talks to star in a new movie together, drawing from an original screenplay that Jolie has written. The project is so early in development that, for the time being, plot details remain firmly under wraps. However, it’s fair to presume that Pitt will also be producing the feature, while this seems like an obvious project for Jolie to direct.
Unbroken – Jolie’s sophomore turn as director – arrives in theaters this Christmas, giving it a prime release date spot in the forthcoming awards season. The true-story based drama, which tells the tale of Olympian-turned WWII soldier and then POW Louis Zamperini, looks promising so far, if only for the cinematography by Roger Deakins (Prisoners); with her background in acting, though, Jolie could well draw strong performances from her cast and firmly establish herself as an actor’s director with her new film.
It’s encouraging to see more women in Hollywood – like Jolie – using their clout to get involved behind the scenes on the projects they star in, as either screenwriters and/or directors. That’s also the case for such people as Melissa McCarthy, who co-wrote her upcoming vehicle Tammy with husband Ben Falcone, as well as Elizabeth Banks, who is both costarring in and directing Pitch Perfect 2 next year. If Unbroken turns out well, that will offer all the more reason for Jolie to also call the shots on her planned onscreen reunion with Pitt.
Actors-turned filmmakers have a tendency to be hit or miss, with Clint Eastwood being one of the more (if not the most) famous “hits” on that list. Jolie’s directorial debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey, earned a decent, though overall lukewarm critical reaction, with her directing skills getting her higher marks than her screenwriting. Everyone has to start somewhere, though, so one hopes that’s simply the first step to Jolie doing better work as a filmmaker.
We’ll keep you posted on this new Jolie/Pitt film as the story develops.