Par, WB cry ‘Beowulf’

Jolie to star in Zemeckis adaptation

This article was updated on Aug. 18, 2005.

Angelina Jolie has been set to star in “Beowulf,” the performance-capture adaptation to be directed by Robert Zemeckis and produced by Steve Bing’s Shangri-La Entertainment.

Project is close to securing distribution through Paramount and Warner Bros.

Jolie will play the queen of darkness, who tempts the Viking as he makes his way in the quest to become king. She joins Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Brendan Gleeson and Robin Wright Penn in the pic, which will feature filmed perfs transferred to performance capture. Zemeckis used the process in “The Polar Express” as well as “Monster House,” a film set for release next summer.

“Beowulf” was scripted by Roger Avary and Neil Gaiman, with Zemeckis and his ImageMovers partners Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke producing and Martin Shafer and the writers exec producing.

Bing, who co-financed “Polar Express,” was originally expected to set the film at Columbia, where he was negotiating a distribution deal that was never finalized. Instead, Par would distribute domestically while “Polar Express” distributor Warners would take foreign territories on the film.

Jolie is currently starring alongside Matt Damon in the Robert De Niro-directed “The Good Shepherd” for Universal and Morgan Creek. She will report for “Beowulf” once that film wraps.