Angelina Jolie must be pretty ticked off right now. Charlize Theron has not only swooped in to take a role originally lined up for Brad Pitt, but may also have beaten Angelina herself to the role too. The ‘Mad Max’ star is in talks to take the lead role from the previously much fancied candidate Brad Pitt in ‘The Gray Man’. This film is about a male CIA operative turned assassin who has to protect his children that he never knew existed. But here’s where it gets confusing, especially for script wizard Mark Greaney, who wrote the original ‘Gray Man’ series of books and has now been tasked with coming up with the screen adaptation for Sony Pictures. Good luck with the re-write Greaney, because the title ‘The Gray Man’ may be pretty redundant now. Will ‘The Gray Woman’ cut it?
But it gets even more convoluted and crazy – Angelina Jolie was rumoured to be on the short list of actresses that just might pull this gender switch off. Jolie has a bunch of experience in that area, if you think back to her CIA stealth and twists movie ‘Salt’ which was originally written with a male protagonist in the lead role – none other than Tom Cruise.
So what does all this mean? For women in Hollywood it’s great news. Because, as Sandra Bullock recently pointed out at the Toronto film festival, there are very few decent parts for strong female characters. Bullock takes the lead in ‘Our Brand Is Crisis’, which was produced by George Clooney and originally planned to star Clooney but guess what? That got gender inverted too. The bad news though, is that ‘Mad Max’ and Theron fans will have to accept that we ain’t gonna see Furiosa return any time soon.