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Jolie to star in Brad Pitt-produced film

Actress to play widow of Daniel Pearl, a writer beheaded in Pakistan in '02
/ Source: The Associated Press

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, whose relationship was spawned on a film set, will again work together — this time on a movie based on the life of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan.

Jolie will star as Pearl’s wife, Mariane Pearl, in an adaptation of her book, “A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl,” it was announced Thursday. Pitt will produce the film, directed by Michael Winterbottom.

The movie will be based on Mariane Pearl’s account of her husband’s abduction in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2002, while researching a story on Islamic militancy. Months later, his beheaded body was found in a shallow grave in a compound on the outskirts of Karachi.

“The film will focus on the deep collaboration between people around the world in search of Daniel in 2002,” Pitt told People magazine. “We hope the film can increase understanding between people of all faiths.”

In an ironic twist, “A Mighty Heart” will be co-produced by Plan B, the production company Pitt and his wife, Jennifer Aniston, founded. Pitt and Aniston, who were divorced last year, remain co-owners of the company.

It is the first announced on-screen role for Jolie, 31, since the birth of daughter Shiloh Nouvel, born in Namibia in May. The couple have two older children, 18-month-old Zahara, adopted from Ethiopia, and 4-year-old Maddox, adopted from Cambodia.

Pitt, 42, and Jolie first collaborated as co-stars in last year’s “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.”

“I am delighted that Angelina Jolie will be playing my role in the adaptation of my book,” Pearl said in a statement released by studio Paramount Vantage. “I deeply admire her work and what she is committed to.”

There was no announcement about who would play Daniel Pearl or when shooting would begin.

Pitt, who is producing a slew of upcoming films, will next star in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Babel” and as Jesse James in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.”

Jolie will next be seen in “The Good Shepherd,” directed by Robert De Niro. She will also lend her voice to two animated features: “Beowulf” and “Kung Fu Panda.”

In producing “A Mighty Heart,” Pitt is joined by Dede Gardner of Plan B and Andrew Eaton of Revolution Films.