Imagine being the guy that has to shop around for projects worthy of Angelina Jolie. The checklist must be longer than a Guns N Roses concert rider, and detailed enough that most potential stories don’t even get past title consideration. She’s played Mariane Pearl, Lara Croft and Grendel’s mum; what’s left to engage the sensibilities of the world’s biggest female star? Would Erin Brockovich have passed the test? What about Virginia Woolf? The Tipper Gore Story? Throw that one in the ‘maybe’ pile.
Geyer Kosinski, the guy who has to dig through Newsweek, the New York Times and The Onion in search of suitable material, thinks he’s onto something. He wants Jolie to play Kathi Lynn Austin, a semi-famous intelligence op (not a personal trainer, as her name suggests) who dealt with terrorism and arms trafficking in every shaky corner of the globe: Africa, Southeast Asia, Central America, Europe and Staten Island.
Kosinski met with Austin and her rep and a pitch was born; Paramount bought the Bourne Identity-flavored concoction immediately. As reality-based pitches with franchise potential go, it probably sounded pretty good. There are few story details on offer so far beyond the ‘inspired by’ aspect of the pitch, but Variety claims "the drama will focus on a fictional arms dealer inspired by Victor Bout, the shadowy Russian who is considered one of the world’s most prolific dealers in illegal munitions."
This is a post-strike project, but with Jolie attached you can be sure that Paramount will have a couple writers on the project the moment a deal is signed. Austin will be writing/publishing her memoirs next year; no word on whether the film project will take her (probably ghostwritten) stories as gospel, or base inspiration.