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Callas bio in tune with Kiwi helmer

Niki Caro to pen, help biopic

Kiwi writer-director Niki Caro (“Whale Rider”) has inked to pen and helm “Callas,” a biopic about the late Greek opera star, Maria Callas, produced by the Rome-based De Angelis Group.

A first draft of the script, based on bestselling biography “Too Proud, Too Fragile” by Alfonso Signorini, is set to be delivered to De Angelis by mid-October. Signorini will take a writing credit on the pic. The plan is to start principal photography early next year.

The bio, based on Callas’ letters, is being touted by producers as the most in-depth book about the life of the diva of divas, the most recognized female opera star of the 20th century.

Callas died at 53 after a stormy career and a tempestuous love life epitomized by her affair with Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.

The deal with Caro was brokered by ICM, which is representing North American rights on the project. Executive producers are De Angelis Group prexy Guido De Angelis and De Angelis managing director Andrea Zoso. Nicola De Angelis will serve as producer.

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