Brad Pitt in Negotiations to Star in Angelina Jolie’s ‘Africa’ (Exclusive)

Oscar winner Eric Roth wrote Skydance’s biopic of famed archaeologist Richard Leakey

Oscar winner Brad Pitt is in negotiations to play Richard Leakey in Angelina Jolie‘s drama “Africa,” an individual familiar with the Skydance project has told TheWrap.

Skydance declined to comment, while a representative for Pitt did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pitt and wife Jolie recently teamed on her third feature as a director, “By the Sea.” They first worked together on “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.”

Oscar winner Eric Roth (“Forrest Gump”) wrote “Africa,” which is a biopic of Leakey, the famed archaeologist who became a staunch defender of elephants against poachers in Kenya in the late ’80s.

Jolie will reteam with her “Unbroken” cinematographer Roger Deakins on the project, which she’s also producing with Skydance’s David Ellison and Dana Goldberg, as well as Jon Peters. Production could begin as soon as this summer.

“I’ve felt a deep connection to Africa and its culture for much of my life, and was taken with Eric’s beautiful script about a man drawn into the violent conflict with elephant poachers who emerged with a deeper understanding of man’s footprint and a profound sense of responsibility for the world around him,” Jolie said in a statement last September.

While Skydance has a deal with Paramount and “Africa” is expected to wind up there, according to sources, the studio is not currently involved with the project at this time.

Pitt recently starred in and executive produced David Ayer‘s WWII tank movie “Fury.” He also served as an executive producer on “Selma” and the upcoming James Franco-Jonah Hill drama “True Story,” which debuted at Sundance this week.

Pitt won an Oscar for producing “12 Years a Slave” and previously worked with Skydance on “World War Z.” He’s represented by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and attorney Alan Hergott.

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