Jennifer Lawrence will find herself being directed by Steven Spielberg in a war photographer biopic after Warner Bros won the rights to adapt a memoir.
The acclaimed book It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War was written by Lynsey Addario, who will be played by Lawrence, and published this year.
In the book, Addario tells of a Sebastião Salgado exhibition inspiring her route into photojournalism, before she began documenting women’s life under Taliban rule. The story earned major coverage after 9/11 and she later reported from a number of war-torn countries. These included Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, and Libya, where she was kidnapped. An army of Gaddafi’s is said to have killed her driver and threatened her with murder and rape.
It doesn’t sound so far removed from Lawrence’s all-action role in The Hunger Games movies. She knows war-zones pretty well, but this time she’ll be exchanging her bow and arrow for a camera.
Following Addario’s kidnap, she returned home to her husband and started a family. Despite taking several steps away from war, she told Time Magazine about facing criticism for being a mother and a war photographer.
“Everyone is having a field day judging what a horrible woman I am, what a bad mother I am. I find it fascinating that anyone feels like they have the right to tell me how to live my life.”
Jennifer Lawrence will be expected to inhabit a role that takes her into a territory of modern war, which has proved Oscar-worthy in recent years. American Sniper explored battlefield tensions with domestic life, while previous best film winner Zero Dark Thirty was also set in a climate of conflict.
Although the film was landed by Warner Bros, with Spielberg and Lawrence at the heart of its production, much of Hollywood was clamouring to get a piece of Addario’s story. Stellar teams and actors pitched including George Clooney and Argo producer Grant Heslov; Working Title with Reese Witherspoon; Darren Aronofsky with Natalie Portman; Wolf Of Wall Street‘s Margot Robie was also linked.
The victors combined a dream team of Steven Spielberg and Jennifer Lawrence, clinching the deal for Warner Bros, with American Sniper producer Andrew Lazar also thrown in for good measure.
But Lawrence will have to wait a while before getting stuck in to the movie. Up next for Spielberg is an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book The BFG, said to begin filming soon. That comes after spy thriller St James Place, starring Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance. If that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, there’s also strong rumour of a fifth Indiana Jones in the works. If she’s not too tied up with other work, perhaps Jen will use the time to further explore the wonders of social media.
With a body of action and psychological trauma experience to draw on, Jennifer Lawrence should be well positioned to take on another testing role as a war photographer, which is only likely to add to her stock.