By Inkoo Kang | Women and Hollywood May 19, 2014 at 4:00PM
Director Niki Caro has lined up her sixth feature: a biopic of Maria Callas that focuses on the iconic opera singer's two-year relationship with billionaire Aristotle Onassis.
Caro, who will also write the film, said of the production, "I have a great fascination for Maria Callas, who was such a powerful woman and artist, but also troubled and stuck in this very destructive relationship."
Up next for Caro is the sports film McFarland, starring Kevin Costner, out this November.
Though Callas was only in her mid-thirties when she met the shipping magnate, her stage career was close to an end. Sources differ on why she stopped practicing when she met Onassis; some say Callas lost herself in love, others say that, given the relatively short span of an opera singer's career, she was looking for a more stable lifestyle.
Interestingly, the two other previous works about Maria Callas are about the legend's life after fame. Franco Zeffirelli's biopic Callas Forever takes place in the final year of its subject's life and imagines the famed perfectionist being persuaded into lip-syncing to her old recordings. Terrence McNally's play Master Class fictionalizes the courses the singer taught at Juilliard after she retired from the stage.
That leaves the world still waiting for a film about Callas' meteoric rise in the opera world and the profound and singlehanded changes she made in ensuring which works (friendly to female virtuosos) get to be performed.