Charlize Theron Fights For Human Rights In ‘Florence Of Arabia’

I was going to begin this by noting what a political turn Charlize Theron’s career has taken in recent years. A scan of her IMDB page reveals that she’s always favored roles with some message-driven weight to them, and that the comedic and romantic selections are really pretty rare. Well now you can consider the status quo maintained.

Theron will be keeping to her political roots with a starring role in “Florence of Arabia.” Variety reports that the actress/producer acquired the rights to the satirical novel, written by Christopher Buckley, to be developed under her Denver and Delilah Films banner.

“Florence” follows the passionate quest of Florence Farfaletti, a beautiful government employee who carries the unwieldy title of Deputy to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs. One of her friends is married to Prince Bawad of Wasabia, but is executed for some medieval era crime. Angered by Wasabia’s archaic and sexist belief system, Florence decides to do her part by helping to liberate the oppressed women of Wasabia. Her plan becomes a crazy, topsy-turvy adventure that is filled with jabs at the United States, the Middle Eastern world, foreign policies, government officials, and everyone in between.

While the 2004 novel had the potential for controversy, it was critically well-received upon its release. We’ll just have to wait and see if a Hollywood adaptation can be accepted as calmly. Something tells me there’s controversial waters ahead for “Florence,” but that kind of publicity might be just what Theron is aiming for. Then again, Buckley transfers well to film if the adaptation of his “Thank You For Smoking” is any indication.

Do you think “Florence of Arabia” sounds too controversial for the big screen? Or will people be able to discern the political message underneath the over the top humor? Does this news inspire you to go out and pick up the book?