Producer Thinks ‘Salt’ Substitute Angelina Jolie Will Make For Spicy Dish

Do you love “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” but find yourself wanting them to set aside the bullets, boobs and bombs and just let the characters breathe a bit? Were you mighty moved by “A Mighty Heart,” but wish the flick wasn’t so damn talky? Now, Angelina Jolie is in the process of reaching for a happy medium between the dramatic and the dim-witted, and if she has her way, “Salt” will soon be adding some flavor to your moviegoing experience.

“It’s very different from that,” producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura recently said of “Smith” when we asked him what the two spy films had in common. “[Jolie] is the first person cast, and she is the most important person to be cast too. It’s going to be a very exciting film, Phillip Noyce is directing it, and we are going to start in February. It’s a big spy movie on a big canvas with a lot of attitude.”

Originally called “Edwin A. Salt,” the film was supposed to star Tom Cruise as the title character, an American spy who might or might not also be working for the Russians. Now, “The Quiet American” director Noyce will be overseeing Jolie and reportedly changing her name to Edwina, but keeping the script’s basic structure.

“Phillip Noyce has a very distinct personality and sensibility, and ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ was totally fun and engaging,” Bonaventura said of the inevitable comparisons “Salt” will face with the film that made Brangelina a household phrase. “This film is much more serious and about real jeopardy. How are we going to get out of this? Who is who? And all the great things you love in an intense spy movie. This has it, and a lot more attitude on top of it.”

You can look forward to Angelina and her newfound attitude in late 2009/early 2010, and lots of additional “Salt” casting news in the next few months.

Which do you prefer: Angelina the action star, or Jolie the Oscar-winning artiste?