These days, Angelina Jolie takes a lot of flak. I think some of it's warranted. I mean, you don't marry Billy Bob Thornton, wear a vial of blood, become half of Brangelina and not expect people to rag on you. But I think in all the tabloid nonsense, we humble moviegoers forget one thing -- Jolie doesn't slum it.
Look at her current slate of works in progress. Salt and The Touristboth sound like solid and intriguing films, with good people like Phillip Noyce, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Johnny Depp and Liev Schreiber making them something more than Jolie showcases. And remember, Salt was originally a Tom Cruise vehicle, and the lead character underwent a sex change. That's fascinating. How many times does a spy thriller end up revamped to star a woman? I'm really, really hoping that the overhaul went no further than abiding by James Cameron rules of gender, and they just called up the script, did a find / replace on all the male pronouns, and called it good.
On the pre-production side, she has Alfonso Cuaron's Gravityto her name. Centering on a lone female astronaut who just wants to get home, it not only conjures up Sam Rockwell but Sigourney "Goddess" Weaver. Jolie is also still attached to play Kay Scarpetta, and The LA Times revealed this week that Scarpetta is being prepped to carry her own franchise. They're starting out with a fresh origin story by screenwriter Kerry Williamson who is trying to create a Scarpetta who is still struggling to find herself.