Angelina Jolie has signed on to do a voice role in Disney’s adaptation of the award-winning children’s book, The One and Only Ivan. While the bulk of Jolie’s career has been dedicated to more serious fare (with the occasional turn in the action genre), the Girl, Interrupted Oscar winner in recent years has definitely warmed up to doing more family fare; including, voice roles in the Kung Fu Panda movies and the title role in the Sleeping Beauty-inspired fantasy movie Maleficent.
The One and Only Ivan is an adaptation of the Newbery Medal-winning book of the same name, written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao. It tells the story of a silverback gorilla named Ivan: a longtime resident of a cage in a shopping mall, along with an elephant named Stella and stray dog named Bob. With little recollection of his life before the mall, Ivan (with Stella’s help) begins to piece together his past, leading to a plan for them to escape from captivity.
According to THR, Jolie is going to get behind the microphone again to lend her voice to The One and Only Ivan. Jolie, who will voice Stella, is the only voice actor cast in the film so far. The production is reportedly looking to cast someone to play a janitor’s daughter – a character who will figure prominently in saving Ivan and Stella from captivity. The film will be directed by Me Before You helmer Thea Sharrock and is set to be a live-action and animated hybrid. Mike White (School of Rock, Brad’s Status) wrote the screenplay.
The film will mark Jolie’s first big-screen role since 2016’s Kung Fu Panda 3, where she reprised the voice the role of Tigress. Jolie’s most recent work came behind the camera as director of the Netflix biographical historical drama First They Killed My Father.
Having dedicated herself to more family fare over the past nine years since the first Kung Fu Panda movie, Jolie appears to be intent on producing more entertainment for younger audiences. She was the perfect pick to play Maleficent in the 2014 Disny live-action blockbuster, and she has now confirmed her involvement in Maleficent 2, which will start filming next year.
With any luck, Jolie will be able to find time in her busy schedule to commit to playing the titular character in director Bill Condon’s remake of the Universal Studios monster movie classic The Bride of Frankenstein, which is currently on hold. If she chooses to pass on the project, Condon appears interested in casting Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot in the role of the legendary horror movie character.
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