The script by Eric Roth is described as a “sweeping epic” which tells the story of African-born Leakey, a fossil hunter who helped find bones of early man but later turned his attention to combating elephant and rhino poaching.
The film will be produced by David Ellison and Dana Goldberg of Skydance, as well as Jon Peters. Jolie will also produce.
Roger Deakins, the acclaimed cinematographer who worked with Jolie on Unbroken, will reteam with the filmmaker forAfrica.
"I’ve felt a deep connection to Africa and its culture for much of my life, and responded immediately to Eric’s beautiful script about a man drawn into a violent conflict that leads him to discover his own profound connection to that same place and people," said Jolie.
Said Ellison: “Africa is a story that deserves to be told. It is very close to my heart, and I know that it will exceed my expectations in Angelina’s hands. She is an incredibly talented filmmaker and is sure to turn Eric Roth’s impeccable script into the project I’ve always wanted Skydance to be involved in.”
Jolie is currently in production on By the Sea, directing the drama she wrote and that also stars husband Brad Pitt as well as Melanie Laurent and Niels Arestrup. Unbroken, the story of World War II POW survivor Louis Zamperini, opens Christmas Day.