Angelina Jolie is in talks to play Catherine the Great in “Love and Honor,” the historical epic that Randall Wallace wrote and will direct for Disney.
Wallace has been working on the tale for years and negotiated a greenlit movie, as well as a pact for a novel with Hyperion Books, in a deal orchestrated by Disney’s Dick Cook and Nina Jacobson. As the script made the rounds, the Catherine role became one of the more coveted jobs for A-list actresses.
Wallace, who has used history to fuel drama in his scripts “Braveheart,” “Pearl Harbor” and “We Were Soldiers,” takes one of the most charismatic 18th-century leaders as the centerpiece for his tale about the American Revolution.
Set mostly in Russia, “Love and Honor” revolves around an emissary sent by Ben Franklin to seek out Catherine the Great and persuade her not to help the British crush the rebellion by the colonies. The emissary seeks to become part of Catherine’s court and does so by helping to set back a Cossack revolt. Once he enters the inner circle, the American’s prowess as a lover endears him to the Russian ruler.
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The Industry-repped Jolie has been on a prolific run. The Oscar winner opens July 25 in “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life.” She stars opposite Clive Owen in the Martin Campbell-directed epic love story “Beyond Borders.” Jolie just wrapped “The World of Tomorrow” opposite Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow and next films the D.J. Caruso-directed “Taking Lives” with Ethan Hawke.