|Portrait of Sir Don McCullin from his website. To learn more about his career and work, click here.|
Legendary photographer Don McCullin will be portrayed on the big screen by Tom Hardy in an upcoming film based on McCullin’s autobiography, ‘Unreasonable Behaviour’. It has been announced that the movie will be directed by Angelina Jolie. Gregory Burke is handling the adaptation. Burke has previously written the screenplay for the movie, ’71’, based on The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The movie is being produced by Working Title and Hardy Son & Baker. The film’s title and release date have not been confirmed.
In a statement, Jolie says, ‘I am humbled to have a chance to bring Don McCullin’s life to film. I was drawn to his unique combination of fearlessness and humanity – his absolute commitment to witnessing the truth of war, and his empathy and respect for those who suffer its consequences. We hope to make a film that is as uncompromising as Don’s photography, about the extraordinary people and events he witnessed, and the rise and fall of a unique era in journalism.’
|The upcoming film will be adapted from McCullin’s autobiography by Gregory Burke.|
This will not be Jolie’s first time directing a movie about real-world conflict. She has previously directed ‘First They Killed My Father’ in 2017. The film documented the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia and its devastating, violent impact on the people there.
Of the movie, McCullin, 85, said, ‘I was very impressed at how she made such a powerful and accurate representation of the place at that time. I feel as if I am in safe, capable and professional hands with her.’ Jolie’s directorial debut in 2011, ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey,’ took place during the Bosnian War.McCullin’s autobiography follows his life and career as a respected photojournalist and war photographer. His photography career began in earnest after working as a photographer’s assistant in the Royal Air Force. After his service, McCullin began taking photos in London and earned himself various photo assignments.
|Angelina Jolie has previously directed ‘First They Killed My Father’ in 2017. This film, along with her directorial debut, ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey’ (2012), focused on people caught up in violent conflict.|
In 1961, McCullin won the British Press Award for his essay documenting the construction of the Berlin Wall. Three years later, he won a World Press Photo Award for his work covering violent tensions in Cyprus. In the following decades, McCullin and his camera photographed conflict across the globe, including wars in Congo, Uganda, Vietnam, Cambodia, Israel, Lebanon, Iran, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, and many more places.
His career has been a dangerous one. He’s been shot (Vietnam), imprisoned (Uganda), expelled (Vietnam), and even been the subject of a bounty (Lebanon). His photography has focused almost exclusively on war, however, McCullin also shone a light on those who have fallen through the cracks in society, including the homeless in his native United Kingdom.
Conflict has never completely disappeared from McCullin’s work, however. In 2015, McCullin traveled to northern Iraq to photograph the Kurdish struggle with ISIS, Syria and Turkey. For his prodigious work, McCullin was the first photojournalist to be an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1993.
McCullin’s life is certainly rich with incredible events for Burke and Jolie to highlight in their film. For further reading, be sure to check out the movie’s source material. McCullin’s autobiography ‘Unreasonable Behaviour’ is readily available in multiple formats. McCullin has also recently released a limited edition three-volume box set of his work, ‘Irreconcilable Truths.’ Limited to 1,000 copies, each set is hand-signed by McCullin. You can order it here. Further, there is a documentary, ‘McCullin’, which was released in 2012 to critical acclaim. The film was directed by David Morris and Jacqui Morris.