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Angelina Jolie to Direct Elephant Poaching Drama 'Africa' at Skydance

by
September 19, 2014
Source: Deadline

Richard Leakey

As we wait for Angelina Jolie's sophomore directing effort Unbroken to hit theaters this winter, the actress turned filmmaker is moving quickly from project-to-project. We just got some first look photos from her next directorial effort, By the Sea, which stars her husband Brad Pitt, and now Deadline reports she's been lined up to direct Africa, an elephant poaching drama set up at Skydance Productions. With a script from Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) the film follows paleo-archaeologist Richard Leakey and his battle with ivory poachers in Kenya in the 80s as hunters gravely threatened the African elephant population. Read on!

This is an interesting move for David Ellison and his Skydance banner, mostly because they've usually backed big action blockbusters like the recent Star Trek and Mission: Impossible franchise sequels and the forthcoming Terminator: Genisys. Usually the more powerful and provocative dramas come from David's sister Megan Ellison and Annapurna Pictures (Zero Dark Thirty, Her, The Master). But maybe Ellison recognizes Jolie's talent and sees the need to broaden his cinematic horizons. After all, with all those successful action franchises, there has to be some extra money to throw at awards contenders, right?

On the new project, Jolie said, "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." Ellison adds, "Africa is a story that deserves to be told. It is very close to my heart, and I know that it will exceed my expectations in Angelina’s hands." Plus, she'll again have help from cinematographer Roger Deakins, who also lensed Unbroken for Jolie. The question is who will be brought into take the lead role of Richard Leakey? Stay tuned.

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  • Xerxexx
    This sounds great. Those recent photos of the beheaded elephants are still fresh in peoples mind...hopefully the film will shed some light on this subject.
    • DAVIDPD
      I would love to see a film about the destruction of the all the Plains Buffalo. Those pictures of the LITERAL 1000's of skulls are so fucking chilling.
      • Xerxexx
        Agreed. Some terrible things have happened to the wild life.
  • HG2012
    michael bay is gonna be pissed
  • DAVIDPD
    Africa still needs more advocates.
  • When will people admit that govts are total failures at protecting wildlife. Time to re-think, ya think? The best way to protect wildlife would be to carve up the land into small sections and randomly give them away to all the citizens of the country. When you own something, you take care of something.
  • TheOct8pus
    I'm glad animal conservation is becoming more mainstream these days. So much abuse has been uncovered in zoos, that we're forced to contemplate how to preserve habitats and protect the wild animals from people.

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