Angelina Jolie is set to direct the true-life drama “Africa,” which will focus on Kenyan politician Richard Leakey’s fight against ivory poaching in the 1980s.
According to Movie News , Leakey was an African-born paleo-archaeologist who helped find the bones of early man, but later turned his attention to combating elephant and rhino poaching.
Jolie will be working with cinematographer Roger Deakins, and the script for the film was written by Eric Roth.
David Ellison and Dana Goldberg of Skydance Productions will be the main producers.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Leakey’s work, he was the head of the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS), and during his time as Chairman he ordered rangers to shoot any poachers they found and controversially a stockpile of ivory worth millions of pounds.
The Independent reports that Leakey also raised millions of dollars from Western governments, and successfully campaigned for a global ban on ivory trading by stopping elephant poaching.
His methods were seen as contentious among Kenyans; though his work channeled money back into Kenya’s wildlife parks, it also signified a great loss of revenue for the country.
Jolie stated , “I’ve felt a deep connection to Africa and its culture for much of my life, and was taken with Eric’s beautiful script about a man drawn into the violent conflict with elephant poachers who emerged with a deeper understanding of man’s footprint and a profound sense of responsibility for the world around him,” explaining the reason why she was drawn to the film.
Ellison commented , “I know that [the film] will exceed my expectations in Angelina’s hands.
She is an incredibly talented filmmaker and is sure to turn Eric Roth’s impeccable script into the project I’ve always wanted Skydance to be involved in.” Jolie will begin working on the project after she finishes up her current job as director for the movie ‘By The Sea,’ where she stars opposite her husband Brad Pitt.