Angelina Jolie and David Oyelowo have entered talks to star in fantasy drama Come Away.
Written by newcomer Marissa Kate Goodhill, Come Away will serve as a prequel to the tales of Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, set before Alice went to Wonderland and before Peter became Pan.
Deadline broke the news, reporting that the film will depict Alice and Peter as siblings who attempt to save their parents – to be played by Jolie and Oyelowo – from despair after their eldest child (Alice and Peter’s elder brother) is killed in a tragic accident. The path lead them to finally choose between home and imagination, which sets the stage for their journeys into Wonderland and Neverland.
The film is to be directed by Brenda Chapman, Oscar winner for Pixar’s Brave, which she co-directed and co-wrote. This will be the first live-action feature for Chapman, who also co-directed Dreamworks Animation hit The Prince of Egypt and has story credits on Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
“Angelina and David are going to bring a beautiful chemistry and depth to this magical story, giving audiences a wonderful step outside the expected,” Chapman said in a statement.
At first, this doesn’t ring out as a must-see, particularly in a time when we seem inundated in sequels, prequels and remakes. But it’s an interesting angle to take, and Jolie and Oyelowo certainly have the skills to pull of what could be highly emotional roles. This sounds like it’s fitting firmly into that ‘is it an imagined fantasy to deal with trauma or is it all real?’ type of narrative that films such as Pan’s Labyrinth, A Monster Calls and the recent I Kill Giants have tackled quite well. Which is to say, assuming Goodhill’s script and Chapman’s direction balance the drama and fantasy thoughtfully, this could be something special.
Come Away, which Oyelowo will produce alongside Leesa Kahn, James Spring and Andrea Keir, with Michelle Manning as executive producer, is expected to start filming in the UK before moving to L.A., where Jolie will join the production.
Jolie is currently filming Disney sequel Maleficent 2 with Elle Fanning. Oyelowo will soon be seen playing Inspector Javert in a BBC mini-series adaptation of Les Misérables and will also be on board Chaos Walking, a currently-in-post-production sci-fi film from director Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) starring Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley and Mads Mikkelsen.