Angelina Jolie is to direct 'Without Blood'.

Salma Hayek, 55, and Demián Bichir, 58, have joined the cast of the motion picture, which will be Jolie's fifth feature film as a director.

Production on the forthcoming movie, which the 'Tomb Raider' actress has written and will produce as part of a new agreement with TV giant Fremantle, has got underway, with filming to take place in the Puglia and Basilicata regions of southern Italy.

Jolie, 47, said in a statement: "I'm honoured to be here in Italy to bring this very special material to film, and to have been entrusted by Alessandro Baricco with the adaptation of his book, with its unique poetry and emotion and way of looking at war, and the questions it poses about what we search for after trauma or loss or injustice."

The movie is based on the book of the same name by Italian writer Alessandro Baricco.

The tome tells the story of the assassination of a man and his family, during which only his four-year-old daughter, Nina, survives, thanks to an extraordinary act of mercy from one of the attackers.

Years later she sets about trying to track down her family's murderers, and reunites with the man who saved her.

Jennifer Mullin, Global CEO at Freemantle, added: "We are excited to work with [Jolie] and the incredible international team she has assembled.

"This project underlines Fremantle's ongoing commitment to producing high-quality feature films and original dramas working with the very best talent from across the globe."

In February 2017, Jolie was said to be developing 'Without Blood' with a view to direct.