Angelina Jolie Pitt will be helming her next project for a late-2016 release on Netflix and festivals worldwide. The Oscar winner will co-write and direct an adaptation of Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung’s 2000 memoir First They Killed My Father: A Daughter Of Cambodia Remembers as a Netflix Original film. The actress and Unbroken director has been working on the adaptation of the book of life under the murderous Khmer Rouge for several years since reading it and reaching out to Ung more than 10 years ago.
“I was deeply affected by Loung’s book,” said Jolie Pitt, who also will produce the feature. “It deepened forever my understanding of how children experience war and are affected by the emotional memory of it. And it helped me draw closer still to the people of Cambodia, my son’s homeland.” Jolie Pitt’s Cambodia-born son Maddox will be involved in the film. Rithy Panh, director of the Best Foreign Language film Oscar nominee The Missing Picture, will serve as a producer.
Currently in postproduction on By The Sea, which she wrote and directed staring herself and husband Brad Pitt, Jolie Pitt will start production on First They Killed My Father later this year in Cambodia. This pushed back her previous announced work on illegal wildlife trade film Africa, which is still going forward at a later date.
Netflix are obviously popular around the Jolie Pitt household as today’s news comes just over a month and a half after my colleague Mike Fleming Jr broke the news that the streaming service had picked up the distribution rights to the David Michod-directed drama War Machine, which Pitt is the star of and is producing through his Plan B shingle. Netflix is, of course, jumping deep into dramatic features with a slate set to start rolling out later this year with the Cary Fukunaga-directed Beasts Of No Nation out on October 16.
“Films like this are hard to watch but important to see,” Jolie Pitt said today in praising the streaming service. “They are also hard to get made. Netflix is making this possible, and I am looking forward to working with them and excited that the film will reach so many people.” Set to be released in both Khmer and English, Netflix say First They Killed My Father will be submitted to major film festivals around the world — which means they could be thinking Oscar contender at this early date.“We are proud to be working with Angelina Jolie in bringing this emotionally powerful and ultimately uplifting story exclusively to Netflix members around the world,” Netflix’s Ted Sarandos said Thursday. “Loung Ung’s incredible journey is a testament to the human spirit and its ability to transcend even the toughest circumstances.”
Jolie Pitt is repped by UTA and attorney Robert Offer.