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Angelina Jolie Pitt brings son Maddox on board for Netflix film project

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Angelina Jolie Pitt is the latest star to turn to Netflix for her next project, and is bringing eldest son Maddox on board for a powerful film about a country close to both their hearts.

The Oscar-winning actor will be directing and producing an adaptation of First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, the 2000 memoir of Cambodian human rights activist Loung Ung about surviving the deadly Khmer Rouge regime - a four-year period in which about two million Cambodians died.

Angelina, who adapted the book into a screenplay alongside Loung, described the Netflix Original Film as likely to be "hard to watch but important to see". It is slated for release late next year.

She said in a statement: "I was deeply affected by Loung’s book. It deepened forever my understanding of how children experience war and are affected by the emotional memory of it. And it helped me draw closer still to the people of Cambodia, my son’s homeland.

"It is a dream come true to be able to adapt this book for the screen [...] Films like this are hard to watch but important to see. They are also hard to get made. Netflix is making this possible, and I am looking forward to working with them and excited that the film will reach so many people."

Loung was five years old when the Khmer Rouge assumed power in 1975, and was forced from her family home in Phnom Penh and trained as a child soldier in a work camp. She first met Angelina in 2001 and the pair have remained close. 

"Immediately, I trusted Angelina's heart," Loung said of their bond. "Through the years, we have become close friends, and my admiration for Angelina as a woman, a mother, a filmmaker, and a humanitarian has only grown. It is with great honor that I entrust my family's story to Angelina to adapt into a film."

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Angelina with son Maddox and daughter Vivienne

The press release stated son Maddox, 13, will be "involved in production". His role was not specified, but last year, he worked as a production assistant on By the Sea, a drama written, produced and directed by mum Angelina, 40, and starring both his parents.

Angelina and Brad Pitt, 51, married in August last year, and are also parents to son Pax, 11, daughters Zahara, 10, and Shiloh, nine, and seven-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.

She adopted Maddox from a Cambodian orphanage in 2002, when he was seven months old. "Somebody told me that if you're going to adopt an orphan, you should adopt from a country you love, because that's the only history you're going to share with them," she said in 2003. "I went into an orphanage and decided I'd not go for the cutest child but just go to the one that connected to me."

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