Angelina Jolie is making a career out of taking on spy movies that Tom Cruise walks away from. I almost said that she's taking his leftovers, but that really wouldn't be fair. In many ways the movies become more appealing with her involvement than they would be with his. So perhaps she's making them more awesome! Anyway, after stepping into the role he vacated on Phillip Noyce's CIA thriller Edwin A. Salt (necessitating a gender change for the lead character and a title change to just Salt), last week Jolie became attached to another high-profile spy film that Cruise had circled for a long time last year before ultimately choosing to make Knight & Day with Cameron Diaz instead: The Tourist. Jolie won't be playing the role that Cruise would have this time, however; that part already went to Terminator Salvation star Sam Worthington. This time, Jolie will be taking over the female lead to which Charlize Theron had been attached for some time, but recently vacated.
But Angie's not sightseeing alone. Today's Variety reports that she's probably bringing with her director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. This is big news, because von Donnersmarck's last movie, the Oscar-winning The Lives of Others, was one of my very favorite spy movies of the decade. He hasn't made another movie since (after reportedly trying to find the right material for his English language debut), so it's very exciting that he's chosen a more mainstream espionage thriller. (Hollywood, meanwhile, is still trying to figure out how to remake Lives; last I heard they were pursuing the horrifying course of setting it in a near-future dystopic USA.) While the trade is clear that "von Donnersmarck hasn't formally entered into negotiations yet," they assert that Jolie's participation was contingent on finding the right director. "After meetings with several helmers, von Donnersmarck was deemed that guy on Friday night, insiders said." The trade goes on to recap the project's exciting premise:
Jolie, who most recently wrapped the Phillip Noyce-helmed Salt for Columbia Pictures, will play a female Interpol agent who draws an unwitting American tourist into her attempt to locate a criminal who was once her lover. Worthington, the Australian thesp who next appears as the star of the James Cameron-directed Avatar, will play the American tourist.
If von Donnersmarck's involvement gets firmed up, then this project just became far, far more interesting to me!