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Universal acquires Jolie-Pitt film project 'By the Sea'

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Universal Pictures said on Friday it has acquired worldwide rights to Angelina Jolie's next film project, "By the Sea," written and to be directed by the actress who will also co-star and co-produce the drama with partner Brad Pitt.

It will be Jolie's third directing effort, after Bosnian war drama "In the Land of Blood and Honey," and "Unbroken," the story of Olympic runner and war hero Louis Zamperini, another Universal film that opens in December.

"Angelina continues to showcase her extraordinary storytelling abilities in front of and behind the camera and we are thrilled to extend our relationship with her on 'By the Sea'," Universal Pictures Chairwoman Donna Langley said in a statement.

The Hollywood power couple known as "Brangelina" last co-starred in 2005's "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," which sparked their relationship. They are raising six children.

Universal called "By the Sea" a character-driven drama, but gave no further details.

"I am very happy to continue my relationship with Donna and the entire Universal team as I finish 'Unbroken' and begin work on 'By the Sea'," Jolie said in a statement. 

"They have created a very special place for storytellers, and I look forward to the continued passion and support they have provided to me as a filmmaker."

Universal is a division of NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast Corp.

(Reporting by Mary Milliken; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Lisa Shumaker)

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