Angelina Jolie Pitt to direct Netflix drama set in Cambodia

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Angelina Jolie To Direct War Drama for Netflix

Angelina Jolie Pitt is directing a Cambodia-set drama as a Netflix original movie.

The actress and Unbroken helmer is set to adapt Loung Ung's memoir First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers for the streaming service, Netflix said on Thursday.

Ung, a Cambodian author and human rights activist, writes about surviving the Khmer Rouge regime in her memoir. Jolie Pitt has co-written the screen adaptation with Ung and will produce as well as direct. Rithy Panh, director of the Oscar-nominated best foreign language film The Missing Picture, will also serve as a producer.

Netflix, which said it will submit the film available to major film festivals, plans to make it available to its subscribers in the fall of 2016.

Jolie Pitt, who is currently completing By the Sea, the marital drama she has directed that will be released by Universal in November, plans to begin production later this year in Cambodia onFather. She is postponing filming on Africa, her planned drama for Paramount and Skydance about Dr. Richard Leaky's battle against the illegal wildlife trade, but she said, in announcingFather, that she remains committed to Africa, which needed more time for script work and production planning.

Ung's memoir, which was first published in 2000, recounts how the Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia when she was five years old and how she was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans while her six siblings were sent to labor camps.

See Angelina Jolie through the years:

Angelina Jolie through the years (USE THIS)
See Gallery
Angelina Jolie Pitt to direct Netflix drama set in Cambodia
Angelina Jolie arrives at the 20th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
American actor Angelina Jolie attends an event wearijg a strapless black gown, New York City, circa 1998. (Photo by Victor Malafronte/Getty Images)
Angelina Jolie "licks" her Best Supporting Actress award for a miniseries or movie made for television at the 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 18, 1998. Jolie won for her role in "George Wallace." (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Actress Angelina Jolie, one of the stars of the new action film "Gone in 60 Seconds," nuzzles with her husband, actor Billy Bob Thornton, as her co-star Nicolas Cage, at right, speaks to reporters at the premiere of the film, Monday, June 5, 2000, in the Westwood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: Actress Angelina Jolie kisses her Oscar at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles 26 March 2000. Jolie won for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 'Girl Interupted'. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/SCOTT NELSON (Photo credit should read Scott Nelson/AFP/Getty Images)
Angelina Jolie arrives for the 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 21, 2001. (AP Photo/Kim Johnson)
Cast member Angelina Jolie and husband Billy Bob Thornton before the 'Original Sin' premiere held at DGA Theater in Los Angeles, CA., Tues., July 31, 2001. (photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Angelina Jolie arrives for the premiere of the film 'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider' at Mann Village Theatre in Los Angeles, CA., Monday, June 11, 2001. (photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, UNITED STATES: US actor Billy Bob Thornton (R) and his wife, actress Angelina Jolie, arrive at the 59th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills 20 January 2002. Thornton is nominated for Best Actor-Motion Picture Drama for his role in 'Monster's Ball.' AFP PHOTO/Lucy Nicholson (Photo credit should read LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JUNE 20: Actress Angelina Jolie, Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), participates in a World Refugee Day ceremony June 20, 2003 in Washington, DC. World Refugee Day celebrates the lives of the eight million refugee youths who live around the world. (Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)
U.N. Goodwill Ambassador actress Angelina Jolie chats with Uruguyan troops on Friday, Sept. 12, 2003 in Bunia in northeastern Congo during a visit to camps for people displaced by fighting in the volatile region. The Uruguayans are part of the U.N. mission to Congo, or MONUC, that is attempting to stabilize the region. The sea of tents in the background house thousands of people displaced by recent fighting.(AP Photo/UNICEF HANDOUT)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 29: Actress Angelina Jolie attends the 76th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater on February 29, 2004 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 16: Actress Angelina Jolie arrives for the world premiere of her film 'Taking Lives' March 16, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
BURBANK, CA - MARCH 16: Actress Angelina Jolie appears on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios on March 16, 2004 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
In this photo released by United National High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Hollywood star and Goodwill Ambassador to the UNHCR Angelina Jolie, right, shares a light moment with an Afghan refugee girl at a brick kiln near an Afghan refugees camp outskirt of Islamabad, Pakistan on Friday, May 6, 2005. Jolie on Saturday, May 7, 2005 made an emotional appeal to the international community to help millions of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. (AP Photo/UNHCR, HO)
Actress Angelina Jolie glances towards photographers from her head table as she waits to speak about her work with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees at a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington Tuesday, March 8, 2005. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 10: Actress Angelina Jolie and her son Maddox attend the World Premiere of 'Shark Tale' in San Marco Square, as part of the 61st Venice Film Festival on September 10, 2004 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - JUNE 07: Actress Angelina Jolie arrives at the premiere of 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith' at the Mann Village Theater on June 7, 2005 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
JABEL SHAROON, PAKISTAN - NOVEMBER 26: In this handout photo supplied by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie listens as a local woman in this village 6,000 feet above sea level in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, tells a UNHCR worker about her preparations for the coming winter, which includes salvaging materials from the remains of houses after the earthquake, November 26, 2005 in Jabel Sharoon, Pakistan. (Photo by J Redden/UNHCR via Getty Images)
Hollywood movie stars Brad Pitt (C) and his partner Angelina Jolie ride on a motorcycle on a busy street in downtown Ho Chi Minh city, 23 November 2006. Jolie, the partner of fellow screen idol Brad Pitt, was expected to adopt a three-year-old Vietnamese boy 15 March 2007, according to the head of the Tam Binh orphanage, from where the child is. AFP PHOTO/FILES (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
** FILE ** Angelina Jolie, right, with her daughter Zahara, and Brad Pitt, left, with Jolie's son Maddox, walk near the Gateway of India, unseen, in Mumbai, India, on Nov. 12, 2006. Jolie plans to adopt a young Vietnamese boy and he probably will be moving to the United States in no more than three months, Vietnam's top adoption official said Wednesday, March 7, 2007. (AP Photo)
HOLLYWOOD - JUNE 05: Actress Angelina Jolie and actor Brad Pitt arrive to the Warner Bros. premiere of the film 'Ocean's 13' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on June 5, 2007 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Angelina Jolie, left, and Brad Pitt sit together before the start of the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
American actress Angelina Jolie poses at the photo call for the film "Kung Fu Panda" during the 61st International film festival in Cannes, southern France, on Thursday, May 15, 2008. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
American actors Jack Black, left, and Angelina Jolie arrive for the premiere of the film "Kung Fu Panda," during the 61st International film festival in Cannes, southern France, on Thursday, May 15, 2008. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Producer Brian Grazer, actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrives for the 'Changeling' Premiere at the Palais des Festivals during the 61st International Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2008 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)
Brad Pitt, nominated for an Oscar for best actor in a leading role for his work in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," and actress Angelina Jolie arrive for the 81st Academy Awards Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are seen walking with children Maddox, right, Zahara, front right, and Pax, left, in Venice, Italy, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010. Angelina Jolie is in Venice to shoot scenes of the movie "The Tourist", by director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)
Hollywood actress and the goodwill ambassador of UNHCR, Angelina Jolie visits a camp setup for people displaced by heavy floods, in Mohib Banda near Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
Angelina Jolie poses on the red carpet before the Golden Globe Awards Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
US director Angelina Jolie attends the press conference of the film In the Land of Blood and Honey at the 62 edition of the Berlinale, International Film Festival in Berlin Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
U.S. actress and director Angelina Jolie arrives for the screening of her movie "In The Land of Blood and Honey", in Paris, Thursday Feb. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Angelina Jolie presents an award during the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
FILE - This March 8, 2012 file photo shows actress Angelina Jolie at the Women in the World Summit in New York. Jolie says that she has had a preventive double mastectomy after learning she carried a gene that made it extremely likely she would get breast cancer. The Oscar-winning actress and partner to Brad Pitt made the announcement in an op-ed she authored for Tuesday's New York Times under the headline, "My Medical Choice." She writes that between early February and late April she completed three months of surgical procedures to remove both breasts. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, file)
Angelina Jolie, left, and Brad Pitt arrive for the film premiere World War Z in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, June 4, 2013 . (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
FILE - This Nov. 16, 2013 file photo shows Maddox Jolie-Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt on the red carpet at the 2013 Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governor Awards, in Los Angeles. When Jolie wed Pitt on Aug. 23, 2014 in one of the most publicized nuptials of the 21st century, she wore a silk and satin gown designed by Donatella Versace, and a floor-length veil embroidered with colorful drawings by the couple’s six children. Eldest sons Maddox and Pax walked Jolie down the aisle, daughters Zahara and Vivienne tossed flower petals, and daughter Shiloh and son Knox were ring-bearers. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File)
In this Thursday, May 8, 2014 file photo, actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie arrive for the "Maleficent" exhibit in Kensington Gardens, London. The exhibit showcases some of the costumes and props from the film "Maleficent," before they go on display to the public at the O2 in London. The film releases in theaters in the U.S. on May 30, 2014. (Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, file)
U.S actress Angelina Jolie, right, is presented with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, London, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. Jolie received an honorary damehood (DCMG) for services to UK foreign policy and the campaign to end war zone sexual violence. (AP Photo/Anthony Devlin, pool)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres is seated to the left of actress/activist Angelina Jolie as she speaks at a United Nations Security Council Meeting on the situation in the Middle East and Syria at the United Nations on April 24, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - MARCH 28: Actress Angelina Jolie hugs Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt (L) and Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt (R) after winning award for Favorite Villain in 'Maleficent' during Nickelodeon's 28th Annual Kids' Choice Awards held at The Forum on March 28, 2015 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Jolie Pitt read the book, contacted Ung more than a decade ago and became best friends, adapting the book into a screenplay.

"I was deeply affected by Loung's book," Jolie Pitt commented. "It deeped forever my understanding of how children experience war and are affected by the emotional memory of it. And it helped me draw closer still to the people of Cambodia, my son's homeland. It is a dream to be able to adapt this book for the screen, and I'm honored to work alongside Loung and filmmaker Rithy Panh." Jolie Pitt's Cambodian-born son, Maddox, will also be involved in the production of the film.

Jolie Pitt said she decided to partner with Netflix because of the streaming service's global reach. "Films like this are hard to watch but important to see," she said. "They are also hard to get made. Netflix is making this possible, and I am looking forward to working with them and excited that the film will reach so many people." The film will be released in both Khmer and English.

"We are proud to be with with Angelina Jolie in brining this emotionally powerful and ultimately uplifting story exclusively to Netflix members around the world," Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos commented. "Loung Ung's incredible journety is a testament to the human spirit and its ability to transcend even the toughest circumstances."

Ung is currently writing her first novel and is a co-owner of Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland, Ohio. Since 1995, she has made more than 30 trips back to Cambodia, helping her native land recover from the traumas of war. Her other works include Lucky Child and Lulu in the Sky. She was also a contributing writer on the 2013 film Girl Rising, which told the stories of different girls from different parts of the world.

"Angelina and I met in 2001 in Cambodia, and immediately, I trusted Angelina's heart," commented Ung. "Through the years, we have become close friends, and my admiration for Angelina as a woman, a mother, a filmmaker and a humanitarian has only grown. It is with great honor that I entrust my family's story to Angelina to adapt into a film."

Jolie Pitt is repped by UTA and Media Talent Group.

Read Full Story

From Our Partners