Luciano Pavarotti. Placido Domingo. Montserrat Cabelle. Joan Sutherland. Angelina Jolie.
Pablo Larraín, who directed last year’s haunting biopic about Princess Diana, Spencer, will turn his lens to one of the greatest opera singers ever. Steven Knight, the red-hot writer of Spencer and TV’s Peaky Blinders, inked the script for Larraín’s project.
Who Was Maria Callas?
Naturally, like the subject of just about every biopic, Callas battled inner demons along the way to and during her success.
A mommy complex, weight disorders, near-blindness, a love affair with a Greek tycoon, and a rivalry with another singer all factored into Callas’ life story. That should provide rich, dimensional dramatic material for Angelina Jolie, her director and other makers of the movie.
“I take very seriously the responsibility to Maria’s life and legacy,” Jolie said, according to Variety. “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.”
In a curious piece of trivia, The Hollywood Reporter notes, Callas had her love affair with Aristotle Onassis, the future husband of Jackie Kennedy — about whom Larrain directed a biopic that starred Natalie Portman and hit theaters in 2016.
The Chilean director’s next film doesn’t have a release date yet but will be called Maria, according to Variety. But if Angelina Jolie’s filmography stays as-is, that means she will go from playing an elite warrior in Eternals last year to a tough tigress in Kung Fu Panda 4 next year to one of the best-known opera singers of all time.