Universal Pictures are an adaptation of Simon Sebag Montefiore’s book “Catherine the Great and Potemkin: The Imperial Love Affair” and a World War II spy drama based on Clare Mulley’s 2013 book “The Spy Who Loved: The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville.”
The book “The Spy Who Loved” tells the story of Christine Granville (real name Krystyna Skarbek), the daughter of a Polish aristocrat who became one of Britain’s most highly-decorated spies. Her daring exploits included skiing into occupied Poland, being parachuted into France and saving one of her many lovers from a Gestapo execution squad. James Bond author Ian Fleming based the “Casino Royale” character of Vesper Lynd on Granville.
The Catherine the Great biopic would focus on the love between the long-reigning Russian ruler and Prince Grigory Potemkin, the military leader, statesman and nobleman, who together seized Ukraine and Crimea. Among the many previous Catherine the Great biopics includes a 1996 TV movie starring Catherine Zeta-Jones.
These two roles are also in the running with Universal’s strong desire to have Jolie star in their Monsters Universe reboot of The Bride of Frankenstein, which is still in early development and searching for a screenwriter. Jolie is also considering reprising her title role in Disney’s Maleficent 2.
Jolie just premiered her new directorial effort for Netflix, First They Killed My Father, a Khmer Rouge memoir, and is prepping her next film behind the camera titled Without Blood, based on Alessandro Baricco’s 2004 novel.
Very few entertainment writers have an accurate understanding of what is really going on. Vulture's view is not perfect, but it is fair.
Angelina Jolie is one of the few A-list celebrities who works without a publicist, and since filing for divorce from Brad Pitt in September, she has expertly managed the press. Jolie launched a calculated PR offensive against Pitt immediately after the announcement, securing temporary custody of the couple’s six children in the process. Last week, however, “Page Six” reported that Jolie has been “scrambling to do damage control” in the wake of the divorce, and that she is “seeking an image overhaul” from any top Hollywood publicist who will help her. Then the gossip site doubled down on the idea that Jolie is out of her depth, publishing another report claiming that Hollywood has turned against her in favor of Pitt.Angelina Jolie is doing just fine without a publicist https://t.co/XodqtjeQdW— Vulture (@vulture) February 22, 2017
It took Jolie only a few days to prove this narrative — that she is overconfident in her ability to manage the press, and that her image has been irrevocably damaged — wrong. By picking the right interview outlets and staging the appropriate photo opportunities, Jolie illustrated during a press blitz this weekend that she is doing just fine without a publicist.
For her first public appearance since the divorce, Jolie traveled to Cambodia with her six children to promote her forthcoming Netflix film First They Killed My Father. Jolie directed the movie, which traces the murderous rule of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the 1970s. All of Jolie’s children posed for photos at the screening, and her oldest son Maddox, who she adopted from Cambodia, gave a short speech. According to the gossip blog Lainey Gossip, Jolie’s daughter Shiloh told the audience “I love Cambodia” in Khmer. This was the perfect opportunity for Jolie to step back into the spotlight, with her children in tow, in a place that is meaningful to the family.
After the screening, Jolie sat down with the BBC for her first interview since the split and insisted that, despite what happened with Pitt, “We are a family and we will always be a family, and we will get through this time and hopefully be a stronger family for it.” Then she gave a second interview to ABC. When George Stephanopoulos asked her if Pitt was still a part of the family, she responded, “Of course. Of course, we will always be a family. Always.”
I’m not sure what a top publicist would have Jolie do differently. Since the divorce, Jolie and Pitt have gone back and forth in the tabloids, but Jolie’s gracious treatment of Pitt in these interviews effectively stops all that. What is he going to say back? He is going to look silly if tabloids keep suggesting that Jolie is nothing without him. Jolie’s placement of the interviews matters, too: She chose to speak with respected news networks instead of with publications such as People or The Hollywood Reporter, which shows maybe she doesn’t care so much about the opinions of Hollywood insiders.
Jolie could still hire a publicist if she wanted, but her performance this week shows she’s not scrambling at all.