Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt in movie on Daniel Pearl

Posted on July 13, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Books, People, TV, Movies & Theatre
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Adil Najam
Speculation about a major Hollywood movie to be made on the kidnapping and execution of journalist Daniel Pearl has been rife for a while. Of course, that means a lot of Pakistan and a lot of Karachi coming to a big screen near you very soon.

It turns out that it is going to happen. In fact, as ATP mentioned earlier, with the movie on the book Charlie Wilson’s War’ starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts also in the works, there will be a lot of Pakistan on big screens (much of it, of course, not very complimentary).

It is now being reported that the Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt (Brangelina for the uninitiated) team has signed on for the project; Jolie as the lead role and Pitt as producer. According to the Associated Press (13 July, 2006):

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, whose relationship was spawned on a film set, will again work together â€â€? this time on a movie based on the life of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan. Jolie will star as Pearl’s wife, Mariane Pearl, in an adaptation of her book, “A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl,” it was announced Thursday. Pitt will produce the film, directed by Michael Winterbottom.

The movie will be based on Mariane Pearl’s account of her husband’s abduction in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2002, while researching a story on Islamic militancy. Months later, his beheaded body was found in a shallow grave in a compound on the outskirts of Karachi. “The film will focus on the deep collaboration between people around the world in search of Daniel in 2002,” Pitt told People magazine. “We hope the film can increase understanding between people of all faiths.”

“I am delighted that Angelina Jolie will be playing my role in the adaptation of my book,” Pearl said in a statement released by studio Paramount Vantage. “I deeply admire her work and what she is committed to.” There was no announcement about who would play Daniel Pearl or when shooting would begin.

The brutal murder–execution–of Danny Pearl was an inhuman at and left a big blot of both Pakistan and on Karachi. But it was also spurned interesting initiatives. Danny Pearl’s father and the Daniel Pearl Foundation have launched major initiatives for inter-faith Jewish-Muslim dialogue and two, very different, interpretations of the events have been published. One by his wife Mariane Pearl and the other, ‘Who Killed Daniel Pearl?’, by Bernard-Henri Levy. In comparing the two books, William Dalrymple in the The New York Review of Books wrote:

Karachi is the saddest of cities. It is a South Asian Beirut: a city on the sea, rich and almost glamorous in parts; but also a monument to hatred among different sectarian and ethnic groups, and to the failure of a civic society. It is a city at war as much with itself as with the outside world. The most populous metropolis in Pakistan, Karachi is a profoundly troubled place, intermittently engulfed in terrible bouts of killing and kidnapping. It is a city where the police sit huddled in sandbag emplacements for their own safety, and where the foreign consulates now resemble great fortified Crusader castlesâ€â€?which is how the people of Karachi look on them: the unwelcome, embattled bridgeheads of alien powers….

On January 20, 2002, a few weeks after his arrival, Daniel Pearl was lured into a trap and kidnapped. Before long his throat had been cut, live on videotape, after he had been forced to say, “My father’s Jewish. My mother’s Jewish. I’m Jewish.” His body was then dismembered. Now two books have appeared, filling in the bare outlines of this barbaric murder. One is a book of love, a simply written but very moving tribute to a murdered husband by a bereaved and grieving wife. The other is a book of hate, a passionate denunciation of a city and a country by a man who regards Karachi as a living hell, and Pakistan as a country of pure evil. Both books are of great interest; though the second [by Levy] is unsound on matters of fact and riddled with errors.

At the very least, Hollywood fans in and from Pakistan will be seeing much that is familiar (and much that is disturbing) on the celluloid soon.

25 responses to “Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt in movie on Daniel Pearl”

  1. Terry says:

    Quote from Mohsin

    No Karachi is not worse then Newyork.Its very different when you read newspapers or you are in Karachi.
    __________________________________________________ _________

    I travelled in Pakistan, before any of the awful troubles, and, I experienced hospitality that I never experienced in Europe, not anywhere.

    It is this which is upsetting to me, having had such experiences, meeting real people, hen to see now a warped picture presented of people and peoples.
    I have seen the Christian values of kindness put into practice as a way of life by Muslim people and then much more and far more real the quality of that than much of what I have seen of Western Christians.

    In this twist I think lies the secret to peace between people, instead of insults, open the eyes and see truth of the beauty in life and instead of insults look at how brilliant many people are in their simple human kindness.

    It is the disrespect, and the not cleaning of the dirt from the own eyes, that has caused simple people, to be angry, I see much of it as a thing caused by Western unwillingness to face up to the own faults and shortcomings. I am British.

    In 1976 I was at the Pakistani Indian border when an old man amazed me wih his fantastic knowledge of Jesus, he a Muslim himself, but he wasn’t full of hate about Westerners or religion or Christianity, he spoke like Jesus was a real and personal friend of his and this guy really knew what he was talking about, he had such insight into life and this is what was very much part of the Pakistani way, the true belief in justice and God, but in everyday, practical ways, and all of that even in the face of hardships and injustice and lack of freedoms and a lack of abundance of material wealth. Incredible to find a Muslim person know far more about Christianity than the average Christian, but not just hollow words, real-life understanding.
    So I say best of luck to all Pakistani people and wishing for prosperity and good luck for the country so that it can be a valued player on the world stage, as it should be.

  2. Baber says:

    Just finished watching the documentary on Daniel Perl execution aired on HBO. In the end of the documentary there is a condemnation of the killing by Mufti Shamzai of Binori Town. Came to know that he was assassinated the very next day of the condemnation. The documentary also concludes that Daniel Perl was in fact beheaded by Arab terrorists. Sheikh Omar(ex-ISI agent) sold the kidnapped Daniel Perl to Arab terrorists who then beheaded him and video tapped it. One of them involved was Shiekh Khalid Mohamed who was caught from Karachi later.
    Folks! Pakistan is hijacked by extremist/terrorists.

  3. Ahsan says:

    Ohhhh….!!!!!! It’s a must see movie..!!!

  4. Baber says:

    Holywood movies are made to make money. Movies which use catch words like “Based on True Story” can be interpreted as some events in the movie are true. Before watching movies made on books one must read the book first before watching the movie. Also not all that is written in the books is true.

  5. WakiPaki says:

    Great! More neg publicity for pakistan!

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