Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín has directed Natalie Portman as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the 2016 drama Jackie, and Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in the 2021 drama Spencer. Both women earned Academy Award nominations for their work.
Now, Larraín has chosen his next lead actress for a new biopic. Oscar winner Angelina Jolie (Girl, Interrupted) will star in Larraín’s next film, Maria, which follows the story of opera singer Maria Callas. Jolie will play Callas during her final days in 1970s Paris.
“Having the chance to combine my two [deepest] and personal passions, cinema and opera, has been a long-awaited dream,” Larraín said in a statement. “To do this with Angelina, a supremely brave and curious artist, is a fascinating opportunity – a true gift.”
Jolie added: “I take very seriously the responsibility to Maria’s life and legacy. 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.”
Jackie and Spencer are not the only true-life films that Larraín has directed in his 16-year career. In 2012, he directed the historical drama No about the 1988 political decision the citizens of Chile had to make about allowing dictator Augusto Pinochet to stay in power. He also directed Neruda, a biopic on politician and Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda.
Jolie, too, has portrayed a few real-life people on film, including journalist Mariane Pearl in A Mighty Heart, murder witness Jodie Swearingen in Without Evidence, and Christine Collins, a mother whose son goes missing, in The Changeling.