When Life of Pi landed in Ang Lee‘s lap in 2009, it had already run through several directors including M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuarón, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. But as we now know, he managed to turn the tricky source material into a gorgeous, moving adventure. As he eyes his next move, he’s looking to board another project that’s been attached to several high-profile names.

At the Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala, Lee expressed his interest in taking over the historical epic Cleopatra. Angelina Jolie‘s been attached to play the lead since 2010, but the film’s had significantly more trouble hanging onto a director. Last summer, David Fincher became the latest filmmaker to drop the picture. More details after the jump.

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After cutting her teeth on last year’s In the Land of Blood and Honey, Angelina Jolie has picked up a second directing gig in Unbroken. The biopic centers around Louis Zamperini, an Olympic track star turned U.S. Air Force officer. After his plane crashed over the Pacific during World War II, he survived for 47 days on a raft — only to get captured by Japanese forces once he reached land. He spent the rest of the war in a POW camp, suffering torture at the hands of sadistic guards.

While the project’s development hasn’t been quite that epic, it’s got a meaty history as well. Universal has been trying to bring Zamperini’s tale to the big screen for five and a half decades, or longer than the 37-year-old Jolie has been alive. Last we heard of it, Francis Lawrence was attached to direct in 2011. More details after the jump.

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While the Angelina Jolie vehicle Salt wasn’t a runaway hit in the U.S., it ultimately earned almost $300 million in worldwide box office — definitely enough to inspire some sequel chatter. But the actual process of making another film hasn’t been so smooth. Director Phillip Noyce pulled out of the potential follow-up in late 2010, and earlier this year the project received a severe blow when Jolie rejected Kurt Wimmer‘s draft of the screenplay.

Columbia Pictures hasn’t lost all hope, however. The studio is dusting itself off and starting over with Becky Johnston (Seven Years in Tibet, The Prince of Tides), who’s now tasked with penning a new script that’ll pass muster with Jolie. More details after the jump.

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Universal’s been taking their good sweet time on the sequel to 2008′s Wanted, but fans needn’t fret just yet. The studio (re)hired Derek Haas and Michael Brandt to write the script last year, and the former now says they’re readying the second draft.

As for big changes from the last film, Haas reveals the unsurprising news that Angelina Jolie will not reprise her role as Fox. Instead, Wesley (James McAvoy) will be hanging out with a new female pal. Read more after the jump.

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The very busy David Fincher now has one less project on his plate. For over a year now, he’s been in the running to direct Cleopatra, starring Anglina Jolie. However, a new report indicates that talks have broken off.

It’s not the end of the line for the film, though, as Sony is now on the lookout for someone else to take over at the helm. Even with Fincher off, they’ve clearly got their hearts set on locking down a prestige filmmaker: Ang Lee is said to be among their candidates. More details after the jump.

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Walt Disney Studios has confirmed that Angelina Jolie’s daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt will make her feature film debut alongside her mom in Disney’s live-action Sleeping Beauty spin-off Maleficent. Vivienne will play a minor role as the child version of Princess Aurora, who later becomes cursed to an eternal sleep which can only be awakened by a true love’s kiss (yeah, yeah, we know that story…). Four-year-old Vivienne will play a younger version of the princess, while Elle Fanning (14) is set to play the older version of Aurora.

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Luc Besson is really gluing his ass to the director’s chair. Though he directed a good handful of movies since 2000 (Angel-A, three Arthur and the Invisibles films, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-sec, and The Lady) his directorial output has seemed to take a back seat to writing and producing efforts. (Admittedly, that could be an inaccurate perception based on those films’ presence in North America; in Europe, it may not seem as if Besson had any lull at all.)

Regardless, Besson now has three big directorial projects lined up. One is an action thriller in which Angelina Jolie will star; that will shoot in early 2013 after Maleficent is done. Another is an adaptation of the late ’60s French comic series Valerian, which Besson will write and direct.

And then there is Malavita, the “darkly comedic crime thriller” that already has been set to star Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, and which just added Tommy Lee Jones. Read More »

First Image of Angelina Jolie as ‘Maleficent’

Disney’s live-action exploration of the hidden life of Sleeping Beauty villain Maleficent has been on the docket for some time, but it seemed like a film that might never get made. That changed when Angelina Jolie‘s schedule opened up and she committed to the role in a serious way. (Thank her kids for that commitment, or don’t, depending on how you feel about the film.) Robert Stromberg is directing, and the film is under way now at Pinewood studios in London. (They were setting up when I was there to see some of Skyfall, but we couldn’t catch a glimpse of anything special.)

Now we’ve got the first image of Jolie in costume as the evil character, and a few new details thanks to a press release from Disney. Read More »

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