Brad Pitt in negotiations for lead role in Angelina Jolie's Africa
Angelina Jolie is reaching over the kitchen table to nab the star for her next project. Brad Pitt is in talks for AFRICA, a biopic of paleo-archaeologist Richard Leakey. The pair recently finished shooting BY THE SEA, their first movie together since MR. & MRS. SMITH and Jolie’s third directorial effort. AFRICA, scripted by Eric Roth (FORREST GUMP), follows Richard Leakey's clashes in the late ’80s with ivory poachers threatening the existence of the African elephant population.
Jolie spoke about her connection to the project:
I’ve felt a deep connection to Africa and its culture for much of my life, and was taken with Eric’s beautiful script about a man drawn into the violent conflict with elephant poachers who emerged with a deeper understanding of man’s footprint and a profound sense of responsibility for the world around him.
The film sounds promising with Jolie back in the director’s chair and Pitt looking to star. I haven’t yet seen Jolie’s UNBROKEN but it was seen early on as a potential Oscar contender, it opened last month to mixed reviews and was mostly gone ignored by Oscar voters. Pitt will be trying to go for gold again as SELMA, which he produced is up for best picture. He won his first Oscar last year for producing 12 YEARS A SLAVE.
Expect to hear more about poaching this year, and kudos to all of those trying to make a difference. Another filmmaker asking for change is director Kathryn Bigelow (THE HURT LOCKER) who put together a short film/PSA about ivory-funded terrorism and the extinction of elephants. Watch it below.