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Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in Pune, India

Film stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have arrived in India where the actress will be working in a film on murdered US journalist Daniel Pearl. The Mighty Heart, directed by Michael Winterbottom, is based on a memoir of the journalist by his widow, Mariane. Jolie plays Mrs Pearl. The Hollywood couple flew into the western city of Pune on Thursday along with their three children, reports say.

"Mass hysteria is mounting in Pune...", said the Hindustan Times newspaper. "The city has not witnessed a shoot of this scale," the newspaper said. Local media said Jolie and Pitt flew into Pune in a private Bombardier jet owned by a leading Indian businessmen. The Hollywood couple were wearing "white colour full-sleeve T-shirts and trousers and exchanged greetings with the airport staff before boarding a white Mercedes van," The Times of India newspaper reported.

Avoiding the media

The newspaper quoted a Pune airport official "who was among a few to get a close look at the star couple" that Pitt was holding Shiloh-Nouvel, the youngest of their three children while Maddox, who was fast asleep, was carried to the car by one of the attendants". The couple drove in driving rain to a five-star hotel where "six luxury suites have been booked", one report said. The star couple managed to avoid the media which had been waiting at the Pune airport since early Thursday morning by exiting from a cargo terminal gate.

A Mighty Heart, is based on the eponymous book, written by Mariane Pearl after her husband was kidnapped in Karachi and murdered while investigating al-Qaeda. The film will examine his reasons for being in Pakistan, his abduction and his wife's attempts to find him. Mariane has said she is "delighted" that Jolie "will be playing my role in the adaptation of my book". Dan Futterman plays the role of the journalist. Leading Indian actor Irfan Khan also stars in the film. The outskirts of the busting western city of Pune will serve as the backdrop of the film and recreate places in Pakistan.

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