Angelina Jolie will play opera singer Maria Callas in a new biopic.

The 47-year-old actress will take on the role of the American-born Greek soprano in the film 'Maria', which is being helmed by 'Spencer' director Pablo Larrain.

The movie will be based on true accounts and is to tell the tumultuous, beautiful and tragic story of the renowned opera singer, re-imagined during her final days in 1970s Paris.

Oscar-nominee Steven Knight has written the film and Pablo's brother Juan de Dios Larrain is producing the biopic for Fabula Pictures.

The 46-year-old filmmaker said: "Having the chance to combine my two most deep and personal passions, cinema and opera, has been a long-awaited dream.

"To do this with Angelina, a supremely brave and curious artist, is a fascinating opportunity. A true gift."

Jolie added: "I take very seriously the responsibility to Maria's life and legacy. I will give all I can to meet the challenge.

"Pablo Larrain is a director I have long admired. To be allowed the chance to tell more of Maria's story with him, and with a script by Steven Knight, is a dream."

Callas was born in Manhattan and received her opera training in Greece when she was a teenager. Throughout her career, she dealt with near-sightedness that almost blinded her and was at the centre of scandals in both her personal and professional life.

The star had an intense rivalry with the Italian opera singer Renata Tabaldi and had an affair with shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis - who later left her for Jacqueline Kennedy (coincidentally the subject of Larrain's 2016 film 'Jackie', which starred Natalie Portman in the lead role).

She died of a heart attack aged 53 in 1977 after spending her final years living in isolation in Paris.