Angelina Jolie to direct World War II drama 'Unbroken'
After making the anything-but-cheerful In The Land of Blood and Honey, Angelina Jolie is working on signing up for her second directing project: The World War II drama Unbroken, about a U.S. Air Force officer who survived a plane crash, lived on a life raft for 47 days and then spent three years as a Japanese prisoner of war.
Deadline.com says the life story of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini has been in the works for 55 years, but it was Jolie's pitch on the material that won her the job at Universal. "In her life and in her work, Angelina has embraced stories and causes involving great struggle and triumph over tremendous odds and the basic human condition," studio execs Adam Fogelson and Donna Langley said in a statement. "She has a real ability to illustrate the strength in human spirit which will be essential in telling Lou's story of survival and great heroism."
Jolie said the struggles Zamperini, now 95, dealt with roused her interest. She credited the New York Times bestseller Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption and its accounts of aerial combat, shark attacks and torture at the hands of the Japanese as inspiration.
"I read Laura Hillenbrand's brilliant book, and I was so moved by Louie Zamperini's heroic story, I immediately began to fight for the opportunity to make this film," Jolie said. "Louie is a true hero and a man of immense humanity, faith and courage. I am deeply honored to have the chance to tell his inspiring story."
The latest version of the script was written by William Nicholson, who penned Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Gladiator and Les Miserables.
[Photo: Getty Images]