Angelina Jolie is stepping back into the director’s chair for the fifth time for the upcoming film Without Blood, based on the book of the same title by Italian author, Alessandro Baricco. Though the film is still in production, with some big names attached (including two of Jolie’s own kids), it’s already creating quite the buzz. So, we’re rounding up all the information you need on what Jolie has in store so far.
What is Without Blood about?
Like the 2002 novel, Jolie’s film follows a girl during wartime, and “explores universal truths about war, trauma, memory, and healing,” according to the film’s production company, Fremantle. Jolie herself authored the script.
“In a farmhouse deep in the Italian countryside a horrifying act of violence occurs,” reads the novel’s official synopsis. “The one family survivor from this vendetta is four-year-old Nina. And she lives only because of an extraordinary act of mercy. Many years later, as a woman in her fifties, Nina meets her childhood saviour and revisits the events of that fateful night, events which have shaped her entire life.”
“The book had an impact on me as it has so many other people,” Jolie told People. “It carries themes and questions important to discuss.” Of course, Jolie has experience with wartime stories, having directed the 2015 film Unbroken, set during World War II.
Who is starring in Without Blood?
The film stars Demián Bichir, as well as Salma Hayek, whom Jolie previously worked with in the 2021 Marvel film, Eternals.
"Salma and Demián are very authentic and brave in this film,” Jolie said. “I had been a fan of their work. I knew they would bring solid commitment and craft to the film but honestly, they both blew me away.” Jolie went on to call Hayek “so raw and so authentic,” adding that the actress is “mesmerizing.” Hayek, meanwhile, had praise for Jolie as well, saying she’s “probably the best director I've ever worked with.”
"It was a tough film to do,” Hayek said. “And then somehow, it was a joy to suffer so much [because]...she was shockingly good.”
As of now, it’s unclear what roles Hayek and Demián will take on in the film, which began filming this summer in Puglia and Basilicata. The pair will be joined by a mostly international cast.
Who else is involved in the production of Without Blood?
Jolie was joined on set by her two oldest sons, Maddox, 21, and Pax, 18, who both worked in the assistant director department of the film, serving as liaisons between Jolie and the movie’s other departments, according to People. “We work well together,” Jolie said of her sons. “When a film crew is at its best, it feels like a big family, so it felt natural.”
This is the second time Pax has joined his mom on a set, having collaborated with Jolie for her 2017 film, First They Killed My Father. Pax where he shot stills for the movie. Apparently, he held a similar role on Without Blood, working on behind-the-scenes content.
Where Was Without Blood Filmed?
The novel is set in Italy, and according to reports Jolie has been spotted filming in the Italian regions Puglia and Basilicata as well as the capitol city of Rome.