The thriller "The Tourist" has had a very curious history in just a short period of time. 

A remake of the 2005 French thriller "Anthony Zimmer," the English-language version was originally to star Tom Cruise and Charlize Theron for director  Bharat Nalluri. After Cruise dropped out, the filmmaker was soon gone and Spyglass Entertainment replaced Cruise with up and comer Sam Worthington.  Unfortunately, Theron wasn't a big enough draw with just Worthington on board so Angelina Jolie was recruited to make the financiers feel safe.  Of course, like many of these deals in Hollywood, Jolie's participation is contingent on the film landing a suitable director.  Let's just say she really lucked out.

Variety reports Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is the top candidate to get "The Tourist" out of town.  Never heard of von Donnersmarck?  He's certainly not a household name, but his breakout film "The Lives of Others" won the 2007 Oscar for Foreign language film and he's turned down numerous overtures from Hollywood ever since.  The trade says the German filmmaker hasn't formally signed on yet, but studios are already positioning themselves to gain distribution rights to the thriller for 2011. 

Adapted by Julian Fellowes and Christopher McQuarrie, "The Tourist" will find Jolie playing an Interpol agent who forces an American tourist (Worthington) help her locate a criminal who was once her lover.

Jolie will next appear in the thriller "Salt."  Worthington makes his return to the big screen this December in "Avatar."


If this current configuration of talent can be locked down, "The Tourist" should begin production sometime next year.