Billy Bob Thornton’s rep denies Angelina Jolie inspired new film (Update)

February 15, 2012

Angelina Jolie. (Reuters)

According to Variety, we may get to see a little of that time in her life on the big screen.

A source told Variety that “And Then We Drove,” Thornton’s next directorial project, is in part inspired by his relationship Jolie. Producer Alexander Rodnyansky, whose company is partially funding the film, confirmed this report, according to Variety.

This appears to be news to Thornton.

His rep told E! News, “This story is not true. It is neither based on nor inspired by his relationship with Angelina.”

These conflicting reports could simply be a case of crossed wires. Still, it would be easy to see why a person financially involved with the film would confirm this report and why Thornton would deny it.

The promise of seeing some real-life Jolie antics, in her pre-saintly days, could be a great publicity boost for the film. On the other hand, Thornton and Jolie are still friends, and this could make things awkward.

At a Berlin Film Festival press conference, Thornton told reporters (via the Telegraph), “Angelina’s a wonderful woman and one of my best friends in the world,.” He continued, “When people split up, people like to make up stories about how they are against each other. Well, this was never true, it never has been and never will be, and I'll love her until the end of my life and she’ll love me — as friends.”

I’ll now point out the (rather obvious) fact that using real-life events as inspiration for art happens all the time with great results. This tactic recently made Adele an international superstar. (Thanks, mystery ex for “21!”)

Only time will tell if this is the case with “And Then We Drove.” Here’s hoping it is.

Update: Gregg Goldstein, the author of the Variety story, contacted Celebritology to say he stands by his reporting. As he said in the story, Goldstein was told by an insider that Thorton’s planned picture, “And Then We Drove,” was party insipred by Jolie. This was confirmed by producer Alexander Rodnyansky. He write in an e-mail:

When I asked [Rodnyansky if] “Drove” was partly based on Thornton’s time with Jolie and his driving, Rodnyansky said “Right. It’s very much based on that experience as well.”

Goldstein said that no one from Thorton’s camp has contacted him for a correction.

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