Variety reports that Paramount has secured the life rights to Kathi Lynn Austin for an action flick starring Angelina Jolie. Austin is an intelligence operative who has worked with the UN Security Council and whose career has been spent tracking down some of the world's most dangerous arms dealers and terrorists. Jolie's manager, Geyer Kosinski, will produce the film that "was pitched to Paramount as a story that was similar in spirit to The Bourne Identity". The story centers on a fictional arms dealer who was based on an infamous Russian dealer named Victor Bout. Bout was a former KGB major and earned the catchy nickname, "The Merchant of Death" (Nicolas Cage's character in Lord of War was said to be loosely based on Bout).

Jolie is still shooting the period drama The Changeling with Clint Eastwood for Universal and it has been announced that she will finally get to play the iconic tough girl, Dagny Taggart in the adaptation of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. According to Variety, Kosinski has been looking long and hard for a property with some serious franchise potential for Jolie. It makes sense, since both Tomb Raider and Mr. and Mrs. Smith failed to ignite long term franchises. Jolie is a natural when it comes to action films, so the exploits of a globe-trotting super-spy just might do the trick. Paramount is already lining up a short list of writers to kick start the film into production as soon as possible. But, like so many other films, this one is going to have to wait until the strike finally comes to an end.