Angelina Jolie's writing/ directing debut, a currently untitled romance set during the early days of the Bosnian/ Yugoslavian war has gained its first cast member. Croation actor Rade Šerbedžija has joined the film has revealed his refusal to take the part and how he was eventually convinced by the strength of Jolie's script. 

Over the last five days there have been reports that Jolie would be making a film, planned as a love story set during the Bosnian war of the early ’90s. The reports were lacking in specifics, which led almost everybody to assume Jolie would be acting in the film. But no, says British producer Graham King’s GK films. "The movie is happening, but it will mark the writing and directing debut of Angelina Jolie, who will not act in the project". He went on to say:

Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie is set to make her feature film directorial debut. A love story set during the Bosnian war, the film focuses on a Serbian man and a Bosnian woman who meet on the eve of the war and the effect the war has on their relationship… Based on an original screenplay written by Jolie, the actors will be solely compromised of various ethnicities from the region of the former Yugoslavia.

Jolie has already been in Bosnia inspecting filming locations as she plans to shoot the movie there set during the 1992-95 Bosnian War. She has stated briefly:

The film is a love story, not a political statement,”  “I would like to involve as many local people as possible and learn as much as I can.

Rade Šerbedžija [Snatch, Eyes wide shut, Batman begins] has today been cast in the project and the actor has dropped a few details about the script.

Speaking to Blic, a Serbian paper, Šerbedžija said:

For almost two months already I have been in contact with Angelina Jolie. She tried to contact me via my agents and they told her that I am not acting in movies on war in former Yugoslavia. I rejected all offers because scenarios were mainly poor and onesided. When she was told why I had rejected her offer, Angelina contacted me by phone and asked me to read the scenario. The text is fantastic.

The actor explains that he’ll play a Serbian patriot, “a nationalist but not a negative character.” He’s the father of the male lead and a WWII veteran. Šerbedžija goes on to offer a description of the film.

…a love story about a young Serb and a Muslim woman who fell in love several evenings before beginning of war in Bosnia. That’s how film begins. Then follows war madness. The action follows war events with young Muslim woman ending up in a Serbian concentration camp from where she is somehow saved by the young Serb. Their love becomes passionate but impossible.”

Updates as they happen.

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