Oscar winner Angelina Jolie (Girl, Interrupted) will play late opera star Maria Callas in a film from Chilean director Pablo Larraín (Jackie), according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Set during Callas' final days in Paris in the 1970s, the film will have a screenplay by Steven Knight, the creator of Peaky Blinders. Larraín and Knight previously collaborated on Spencer, the biopic about the late Princess Diana.
“I take very seriously the responsibility to Maria’s life and legacy. I will give all I can to meet the challenge,” Jolie told the industry outlet. “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.”
Maria will be produced by Fabula Pictures' Juan de Dios Larraín, Fremantle Company's Apartment Pictures' Lorenzo Mieli, and Komlizen Film's Jonas Dornbach.
Callas' famed mentoring sessions at Juilliard were immortalized in the late Terrence McNally's Master Class, which opened on Broadway in 1995 and won Tony Awards for Best Play, Best Actress in a Play for Zoe Caldwell, and Best Featured Actress in a Play for Audra McDonald. Caldwell, who played the opera diva, was succeeded by Tony winner Patti LuPone and Designing Women's Dixie Carter. Oscar winner Faye Dunaway starred in the national tour, and Tony winner Tyne Daly headed the cast of the 2011 Broadway revival.