Following a bittersweet (mostly bitter) feature directorial debut and a series of serious personal and health difficulties, not a lot of people expected to see Angelina Jolie in a helming seat anytime soon.
Yet the Oscar-winning actress has boarded a very audacious project a few months ago as a director, with filming slated to be underway this fall for a Christmas 2014 release. The movie is very appropriately titled “Unbroken”, albeit it’s not going to be Jolie’s life story.
But it won’t be a work of fiction either, being instead based on the Laura Hillenbrand book “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption”.
The novel centers on WW II hero Louis Zamperini, a real-life Iron Man that lived through a devastating plane crash, subsequent 47 days of drifting on the Pacific with no water or food and, the cherry on top, over two and a half years of detention and torture in a Japanese POW camp.
The young (and more or less anonymous) Jack O’ Connell has been attached for a while to play the no doubt demanding and brutal lead role, with some extra casting dots connected now. Namely, we have three more youngsters signed for “Unbroken”: Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson and Finn Witrock.
Hedlund is probably the name that should ring the most bells, having headlined “Tron: Legacy” back in 2010. He’s subsequently starred in “On the Road” and “Inside Llewyn Davis”, having a number of other projects in the pipeline, including “Lullaby”, also starring Amy Adams and Jennifer Hudson, and an untitled “Tron” sequel.
Like her or not, you have to give props to Jolie for wagering on Hollywood’s new, fairly low-profile but skilled blood.