Angelina Jolie will tell the tragic final days of the great opera singer Maria Callas in the new biopic, Maria. Via Variety, the film comes from Pablo Larraín, who recently directed Kristen Stewart to her first Oscar nomination as Princess Diana in Spencer.
From the 1940s through her death in 1977 at the age of 53, Callas was one of the most famous opera singers in the world. But her once-unparalleled voice grew shaky in the later half of the 1950s, perhaps brought on by precipitous weight loss. In 1957, she left her career and her husband for Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, though he would end their relationship a decade later to marry Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis. She spent her final years isolated in Paris, France.
Maria “tells the tumultuous, beautiful, and tragic story of the life of the world’s greatest opera singer, relived and re-imagined during her final days in 1970s Paris,” according to the film’s logline. Steven Knight, who wrote Spencer and Eastern Promises, will handle the script.
“Having the chance to combine my two most deep 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.”
Jolie was last seen in Marvel’s Eternals in 2021, and she’ll return as Master Tigress in 2024’s Kung Fu Panda 4. Earlier this year, she visited Yemen in her role as a UN Special Ambassador to support civil war refugees. She is currently involved in a contentious lawsuit from ex-husband Brad Pitt about a French winery the couple once owned together, and in court filings said that he once became physically abusive with their children.