It’s been a few years since Angelina Jolie got behind the camera as a director. The last film she helmed was First They Killed My Father in 2017, but soon she’ll be working on another true story in Unreasonable Behaviour, the story of British war photographer Don McCullin. And this time she’ll be getting some help from another superstar actor, with Tom Hardy stepping up to produce.
Based on Don McCullin’s autobiography published in 1992 (and updated in 2017), the film will tell the story of this wartime photographer who went from poverty-stricken London to capturing some of the world’s most dangerous war zones. From the fall of the Berlin Wall up through the Syrian Civil War, McCullin risked his own life to capture incredible images of every major conflict that has unfolded during his adult life. Here’s how the book describes his life on Amazon:
Born in London in 1935, McCullin worked as a photographer’s assistant in the RAF during the Suez Crisis. His early association with a North London gang led to the first publication of his pictures. As an overseas correspondent for the Sunday Times Magazine beginning in 1966, McCullin soon became a new kind of hero, taking a generation of readers beyond the insularity of post-war domestic life through the lens of his Nikon camera. He captured the realities of war in Biafra, the Congo, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the human tragedy of famine and cholera on the Bangladesh border and later, the AIDs epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Jolie has been drawn to true stories at the center of war times for most of her directing career. In the Land of Blood and Honey contained a fictional love story, but it was set during the time of the Bosnian War. Unbroken told the true prisoner-of-war story about Olympian Louis Zamperini. And though it wasn’t exactly a war movie, First They Killed My Father focused on human rights activist Loung Ung as she recounted her oppressed life under the rule of the deadly Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
When it comes to the story of Don McCullin, here’s what she had to say (via Collider):
“I am humbled to have a chance to bring Don McCullin’s life to film. I was drawn to his unique combination of fearlessness and humanity — his absolute commitment to witnessing the truth of war, and his empathy and respect for those who suffer its consequences. We hope to make a film that is as uncompromising as Don’s photography, about the extraordinary people and events he witnessed, and the rise and fall of a unique era in journalism.”
As for McCullin, who is still very much alive, he added in a statement:
“Having viewed Angelina’s last film on Cambodia (and having spent so much time during the war there), I was very impressed at how she made such a powerful and accurate representation of the place at that time. I feel as if I am in safe, capable and professional hands with her.”
Finally, Hardy and his producing partner Dean Baker added:
“Angelina has carved a considered approach to the material that we’ve all been looking for — relevant and compelling, ethically sensitive and engaging. We are excited by her vision and look forward to supporting her depiction of a man who deserves to be remembered for his extraordinary contribution, service, and lifelong work to humanity.”
If you’d like to know more about Don McCullin, you should give this video a look:
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