Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Angelina Jolie is in talks to star in an untitled big-scale movie written and directed by Luc Besson. Besson currently has The Lady in the Oscar mix, but this film sounds like a closer cousin to early Besson efforts like The Professional, La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element.

I’m told that there are serious talks going on for Jolie to star next spring in a dramatic thriller that is rooted in true scientific elements. Besson’s EuropaCorp developed it and will co-finance, and negotiations are already underway with a studio for domestic distribution. The Besson film would be Jolie’s next as an actress, and it would come before she teams with director Ridley Scott on a historical epic about Gertrude Bell that The Constant Gardener scribe Jeffrey Caine is currently rewriting. I’m told there’s a high likelihood that both films will land at the same studio.

The latter film is an epic adventure about a British aristocrat who helped define the current Middle East and the borders of Iraq after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. She became a seminal figure in Middle East politics during the run-up to WWI, acting in roles that ranged from archaeologist to diplomat, photographer and spy. Jolie is also moving quickly on Maleficent, the Linda Woolverton-scripted revisionist take on the Sleeping Beauty tale for Walt Disney Pictures, and she is getting closer to playing medical examiner Kay Scarpetta in the Fox 2000 drama based on the Patricia Cornwell novel series. Kario Salem has turned in a script he wrote in close collaboration with the author, based on her bestselling novel series.

Jolie is getting ready for the release In The Land Of Blood And Honey, her feature directorial and screenwriting debut, which is being released by FilmDistrict in the heat of the Oscar race. Jolie is repped by Media Talent Group chief Geyer Kosinski and Robert Offer, and Besson by EuropaCorp’s Christophe Lambert.

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