After a year spent canceling a bunch of projects, ranging from R-rated fare like "At The Mountains Of Madness," potential awards season dramas like "Memphis," ambitious multi-platform franchise endeavors like "The Dark Tower" and a slate of bad idea brand movies like "Ouija," it looks like Univeral is ready to roll the dice on an original project once again. That it has one of the biggest movie stars on the planet in a lead role certainly doesn't hurt.
The studio has just landed 80% of the worldwide distribution rights for the untitled film set to star Angelina Jolie and be directed by Luc Besson, about which details are still under wraps. But it's moving fast. The film is said to be a return to the Besson glory years of "The Professional" and "La Femme Nikita," with the director himself saying in 2010 that the project would be like " 'The Fifth Element' to the power of 10." The film will be Jolie's next effort with a spring start being eyed.
Both Jolie and Besson are coming off some heavier Oscar fare in the shape of "In The Land Of Blood And Honey" and "The Lady" respectively, so this should make them eager to take on something a little less cerebral, and a little more visceral. Certainly, if the movie lives up to half the hype and is some kind of return to form for Besson, we'll be thrilled. But then again, it could be another "Salt," so who knows. [THR]