Angelina Jolie Is Playing A Legendary Singer

By Matthew Creith | Published

In a lengthy acting career like the one enjoyed by Angelina Jolie, there are bound to be times when the performer gets the chance to take on real-life superheroes on the screen as opposed to the fictional ones that exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jolie is well versed in this narrative, as she has played real people in projects like journalist Mariane Pearl in A Mighty Heart, Christine Collins in the 2008 Clint Eastwood drama Changeling, Cornelia Wallace in the miniseries George Wallace, and model Gia Carangi in the television film Gia. Now, Jolie will get another chance to portray a real person in the biographical film about legendary opera singer Maria Callas currently entitled Maria.

angelina jolie
Angelina Jolie in Gia (1998)

According to a report by IndieWire, Angelina Jolie has signed on to star as Maria Callas in a biopic about the famed opera singer, directed by Pablo Larraín and written by Steven Knight. Larraín has become famous in recent years for directing female actors in solo projects that depict real-life powerful women at the height of fame and peak of their internal struggles, as he did with Academy Award-nominated portrayals from Natalie Portman in Jackie and Kristen Stewart in last year’s acclaimed picture, Spencer. Like he did for the latter, British writer Steven Knight will be developing the screenplay and will reprise his role as sole screenwriter on Maria, having become a prolific author of critically acclaimed films like Dirty Pretty Things, Eastern Promises, Peaky Blinders, and Locke, some of which he has sat in the director’s chair for.

Angelina Jolie is set to play Maria Callas, a tall order as the performer was one of the most significant opera singers of the last century, as well as a highly controversial figure due in large part to her temperament and grandstanding amongst her contemporaries. A soprano for most of her professional career, Callas was supposedly a diva before the term ever existed, and her feuds with other singers was the stuff of legend even within her own time. Born in New York City, raised Greek, and dying at the age of 53 in 1977, Callas was once linked romantically to wealthy shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, who ended up marrying Jackie Kennedy of whom Natalie Portman played in Pablo Larraín’s Jackie.

The filming on Maria is rumored to begin with Angelina Jolie in the titular role sometime in summer 2023, with an expected release date later in 2023 or possibly pushed out to 2024. Steven Knight will be penning the script for the new biographical film while simultaneously working on other high-profile projects, including the television miniseries The Veil with Elisabeth Moss, All the Light We Cannot See with Hugh Laurie and Mark Ruffalo, and a television series about the trajectory and timeline of the Ferrari racing team. Angelina Jolie will also soon begin production on Maleficent 3, the third installment in the franchise by Walt Disney Studios that has previously costarred The Great actor Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Ted Lasso star Juno Temple, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Michelle Pfeiffer.