Angelina Jolie defies gender

We all know that Angelina Jolie can kick a lot of ass. In case anyone’s unsure of her ability to carry an action film, I submit Tomb Raider, Gone in 60 Seconds, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Wanted — need I say more?

Yet it’s notable that she may be taking on yet another rough-and-tumble action flick. Variety reports that the stunning actress is close to a deal with Columbia Pictures to play a role previously intended for Tom Cruise in the film Edwin A. Salt. According to Variety, her character is “a CIA officer who’s accused by a defector of being a Russian sleeper spy and must elude capture long enough to establish her innocence.” (Does this mean Angie will sport a hot Russian accent at some point?) There’s nothing about that role that sounds intrinsically male to me, but we all know how the movies work, and it’s quite notable that a studio has opted to go with a female actor to play a role originally written with a man in mind.

It’s not something that happens frequently, but it’s also not the first time this has happened. Jodie Foster played a character named Kyle (originally intended for a man) in Flightplan. Katee Sackhoff took over the role of Starbuck for the new TV series Battlestar Galactica.

It’s not exactly a habit for Hollywood to hand over roles intended for men to perfectly capable, talented women, more often, it would seem, they’ll track down a new male face if they can’t get the famous guy they want. So, a tip of the hat to director Phillip Noyce and producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Sunil Perkash for opting for Angie instead. Let’s hope the deal goes through, and let’s hope they continue to bring on the women in leading action roles.

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