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PostSubject: Unbroken News   Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:35 am

Angelina Jolie To Direct ‘Unbroken’, The Incredible Story Of Lou Zamperini
By MIKE FLEMING JR | Tuesday December 18, 2012 @ 6:19pm PST



EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and Walden Media are in final negotiations with Angelina Jolie to direct Unbroken, the unbelievable story of Olympian-turned-WWII POW Louis Zamperini. The project, which Universal has developed for going on 55 years, is closer than ever to becoming a reality. Matthew Baer and Erwin Stoff are producing and Mick Garris is exec producer.
For Jolie, this will mark her second film as director after she made her debut on In The Land Of Blood And Honey. This will be her first directing outing on a major studio film. It’s easy to imagine that the world’s biggest female star gets whatever she wants, but I’m told that she campaigned hard for the film against a number of other directors. Universal execs were very impressed with her sophisticated treatment of difficult subject matter. Her detailed take on Zamperini won her this job.
“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,” 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.”
The film has a new script draft by Gladiator and Les Miserables co-writer William Nicholson, who rewrote an earlier draft by Richard LaGravanese. The script is based on Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption, the book by Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand which has been on The New York Times bestseller list for over 108 straight weeks.
“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.”
For my part, I have been obsessed with Zamperini since I saw a segment on his ordeal broadcast during the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Zamperini was there to run with the Olympic torch, covering ground not far from where he spent an unimaginably brutal stretch in a Japanese prison camp during WWII. That is only a small part of Zamperini’s tale.
A troubled and rambunctious Depression era kid, Zamperini found his stride as a track prodigy who was the youngest member of the U.S. team that traveled to Berlin for the 1936 Olympics. He didn’t medal, but turned in such a blazing final lap that Hitler asked to meet him. The expectation was that Zamperini would be a favorite to win a medal in the 1940 Olympics scheduled for Tokyo. Unfortunately, those games were canceled because of WWII. When Zamperini landed in Japan, he was wearing the uniform of an Air Force bombardier.
After his aircraft went down in the Pacific during a rescue mission, Zamperini and two other crew mates survived on a raft in the hot sun for 47 days, battling hunger, thirst and sharks. It got worse when they were caught by the Japanese Navy. That started a terrifying term of captivity at the hands of brutal Japanese guards who threatened to behead Zamperini, and who beat him brutally. One sadistic guard in particular exulted in trying to break Zamperini, but he could never do it. And by the time Zamperini returned to Japan and carried that torch, he’d forgiven his brutal captor–known as The Bird–and even offered to meet him to forgive him in person. The man refused.
The studio first bought Zamperini’s rights back in the 1950s, when Tony Curtis was eager to play Zamperini as his followup to Spartacus. Few movies gestate as long as this one, but it’s clear from Hillenbrand’s remarkable book that it was wise to wait. Zamperini had a lot of work to do to make himself whole again after enduring an ordeal that would break even the strongest of men. The unsung hero in the formation of this movie is Baer, the producer who has been struggling for 14 years to keep a promise to Zamperini. The project gained steam after Hillenbrand’s book was published and gave Zamperini’s story new urgency.
Jolie will oversee a final draft and then there is casting and a tough production schedule, but this movie should find its way into production next year. It’s co-financed by Universal and Walden, whose CEO Michael Bostick called Zamperini “one of history’s most incredible and inspiring stories.”
Zamperini turns 96 in January, and with the passion that Jolie and Universal now have for this story, he should have the opportunity to be part of its production and hopefully to see Unbroken on the screen. Jolie’s repped by UTA for directing and attorney Robert Offer.
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PostSubject: Re: Unbroken News   Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:40 am

Angelina Jolie directing 'Unbroken' to inspire sons

Actress Angelina Jolie decided to step behind the camera once again to direct a biopic of Olympian-turned-World War II prisoner Louis Zamperini to inspire her three sons.
The Salt star has six children with her partner Brad Pitt and hopes her new project Unbroken will be a positive influence on her sons Maddox, 12, Pax, nine, and Knox, who turns five next month.
The movie is based on Laura Hillenbrand's book about Zamperini, an American long distance runner who competed at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany.
After World War II broke out, Zamperini enlisted in the U.S. Army, only to be captured by the Japanese and held prisoner.
Jolie tells the Daily Mail, "(Zamperini) was captured during World War II and held by the Japanese. His family and the authorities thought he was dead, but he survived.
"It's a story of courage and I want to make it for my sons because it's an example of sacrifice and survival against all odds. They'll learn something from it."
The actress added she is currently working on the script and casting for the movie but shooting in Hawaii will not take place until the end of the year.
Jolie previously directed the hardhitting 2011 movie In the Land of Blood and Honey.
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PostSubject: Re: Unbroken News   Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:42 am

Dane DeHaan in the running for Angelina Jolie-directed 'Unbroken'


The WW2 drama, which is to be directed by Angelina Jolie, follows the true story of former Olympian Louis Zamperini, who endured a series of medical experiments, routine beatings and slave labor during his time at a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.



© WENN / Nikki Nelson
Dane DeHaan

© Action Press/Rex Features
Angelina Jolie


Deadline reports that DeHaan is among the frontrunners for the role of Zamperini, along with Jack O'Connell (300: Rise of an Empire) and Alexander Dreymon (best known from BBC film Christopher and His Kind).

The Coen brothers rewrote the script for Unbroken earlier this year, which is based on the novel Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (Seabiscuit).

DeHaan will next be seen alongside Daniel Radcliffe in Beat poet drama Kill Your Darlings, and also plays Harry Osborn in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man 2.



Read more: http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/news/a490090/dane-dehaan-in-the-running-for-angelina-jolie-directed-unbroken.html#ixzz2WEla47Hb
Follow us: @digitalspy on Twitter | digitalspyuk on Facebook
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PostSubject: Re: Unbroken News   Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:44 am

Angelina Jolie Narrowing Choices For Young Lou Zamperini In ‘Unbroken’




EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures, Walden Media and director Angelina Jolie are getting closer to the start line on Unbroken, the incredible story of Louis Zamperini based on Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling book. I’m hearing that three young actors — Alexander Dreymon (Blood Ransom), 300: Rise Of An Empire co-star Jack O’Connell and Chronicle and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Dane DeHaan — are screen-testing to play Zamperini as a young man. I don’t know that Jolie won’t widen her short list — she has met with reams of young actors already to get to this point — but I do believe this has the potential to be a career-making job. The actor will play Zamperini from the time he was a wunderkind member of the American track team that competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, to his survival of a harrowing plane crash on the water, to becoming a POW in a Japanese prison camp during WWII. Zamperini, who has shown an iron will in dealing with adversity, turned 96 in January and the emergence of this short list is good news because it means he hopefully will get to see the film. It is one that Universal first developed in 1956 when it was to star Tony Curtis, right after Spartacus. Matthew Baer and Erwin Stoff are producing and Mick Garris is exec producer.
Jolie signed on last December to make this her second film as director after In The Land Of Blood And Honey. She had campaigned hard for the job against other directors who sparked to Hillenbrand’s book. I spoke to her at the time and she was completely dialed into the story and how she wanted to tell it. Since then, Joel and Ethan Coen rewrote a script that had been penned by Gladiator and Les Miserables co-writer William Nicholson, who rewrote an earlier draft by Richard LaGravanese, The book has now been on The New York Times Bestseller List for two and a half years, which is the fifth-longest a book has stayed there.
When she took the job, Jolie called Zamperini “a true hero and a man of immense humanity, faith and courage.” She wasn’t kidding. A troubled and rambunctious Depression era kid, Zamperini found his stride as a track prodigy who was the youngest member of the U.S. team that traveled to Berlin for the 1936 Olympics. He didn’t medal, but turned in such a blazing final lap that Hitler asked to meet him. The expectation was that Zamperini would be a favorite to win a medal in the 1940 Olympics scheduled for Tokyo. Unfortunately, those games were canceled because of WWII. When Zamperini landed in Japan, he was wearing the uniform of an Air Force bombardier. After his aircraft went down in the Pacific during a rescue mission, Zamperini and two other crew mates survived on a raft in the hot sun for 47 days, battling hunger, thirst and sharks.
It got worse when they were caught by the Japanese Navy. That started a terrifying term of captivity at the hands of brutal Japanese guards who threatened to behead Zamperini, and who beat him brutally. One sadistic guard in particular exulted in trying to break Zamperini, but he could never do it. And by the time Zamperini returned to Japan to carry the Olympic torch in Nagano in 1998, he’d forgiven his brutal captor–known as The Bird–and even offered to meet him to forgive him in person. The man refused.
His story will likely go before the cameras by early fall.
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PostSubject: Re: Unbroken News   Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:28 am

Angelina Jolie, Matthew Vaughn Eyeing '300' Sequel Star Jack O'Connell for Lead Roles


By Jeff Sneider

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken" isn't the only movie that "300: Rise of an Empire" star Jack O'Connell is testing for, as he's also in contention for the young lead in Matthew Vaughn's "The Secret Service," TheWrap has learned.

While John Boyega ("Attack the Block") and Christian Cooke (Cemetery Junction") are also in the mix, O'Connell is considered the frontrunner for the coveted role, though "Unbroken" would take priority should Jolie offer him the part.

Vaughn is mounting an adaptation of Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons' popular Marvel comic, which will star Oscar winner Colin Firth as a veteran secret agent who leads a young protégé into the shadowy spy business. Millar has described "Secret Service" as "James Bond meets My Fair Lady."

O'Connell has already tested for the role of Firth's nephew and insiders close to the process tell TheWrap that it went well, though they caution that Vaughn hasn't made a final decision yet.

The director had been eyeing his "Kick-Ass" star Aaron Taylor-Johnson for the role but his casting is considered a long-shot.

Vaughn's Marv Films banner is financing "Secret Service" and handling development in England, where O'Connell has earned a strong fan base thanks to his turn on "Skins." He also starred in such British hits as "This Is England," "Eden Lake," "Harry Brown" and "Tower Block."

Jolie's "Unbroken" is based on the bestselling book by "Seabiscuit" author Laura Hillenbrand. O'Connell is one of three actors testing to play American track star Louis Zamperini, who lived an incredible life that included surviving a plane crash only to become a POW in a Japanese prison camp during WWII.

O'Connell's competition for "Unbroken" includes Dane DeHaan and Alexander Dreymon, though it's possible Jolie could go in another direction and widen her search. Universal is distributing "Unbroken," which was recently rewritten by the Coen brothers.

What's interesting about these two projects is that Jolie's partner, Brad Pitt, produced Vaughn's "Kick-Ass" and starred in the Vaughn-produced thriller "Snatch." It's still early in the casting process, but it's possible both Jolie and Vaughn could pursue O'Connell's fall slot.

20th Century Fox plans to release "The Secret Service" on November 14, 2014. Vaughn, who last directed "X-Men: First Class" for Fox, is producing and directing from a script he co-wrote with frequent collaborator Jane Goldman. Vaughn's "Kick-Ass 2" producers David Reid and Adam Bohling are expected to be involved in a producing capacity. Shooting is scheduled to start this August overseas.

O'Connell was originally set to star in WB/Alcon's "Beautiful Creatures," but a visa issue stemming from legal trouble prevented him from shooting the film in America. He was eventually replaced by Alden Ehrenreich.

Warner Bros. will release "300: Rise of an Empire" on March 7, 2014.

O'Connell is repped by Conway van Gelder Grant and CAA, which had no comment several weeks ago when TheWrap first inquired regarding his screen test.
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PostSubject: Re: Unbroken News   Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:30 am

Luncheon Fundraiser with Unbroken’s Louis Zamperini
Olympian and World War II POW/veteran Louis Zamperini shares his captivating life story at Benefit for United Boys and Girls Clubs
When: Thursday, June 27, 2013, 11 a.m.

Where: Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real, Santa Barbara

Cost: $100

Age limit: Not available

Categories: Lectures, Calendar of Fundraisers

Description:

The United Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County invites the public to attend a benefit featuring Olympian and World War II POW and veteran, Louis Zamperini taking place on June 27th at the Earl Warren Showgrounds starting at 11:00 am. Zamperini, the subject of the New York Times bestseller, Unbroken, the latest book by Pulitzer Prize winning author Laura Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscuit), will share his amazing story of survival and redemption. The event will include a gourmet lunch, a video of Zamperini’s life and a talk with him.

The action packed life of 96-year-old Zamperini began to gain momentum in his youth when he became a championship winning track star. He went on to participate in the 1936 Berlin Olympics where Adolf Hitler insisted on shaking his hand and complementing his fast finish. Zamperini’s athletic career was cut short when he enlisted in the Air Force as a second lieutenant. It was this chapter of Zamperini’s life that would test his true strength. During WWII, as part of a B-24 bombing crew which regularly flew long missions, the crew’s plane went down due to engine failure in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Zamperini being one of the only survivors spent 47 days floating in shark infested waters before being captured by the Japanese Navy. He remained a prisoner of war for the next two years. It is with tremendous courage and strength that Louis Zamperini is able to share his tale of survival and redemption.

“It is such a privilege to have Louis Zamperini come share his miraculous story with our community and support the United Boys and Girls Clubs in such a unique way,” Gina Carbajal, Executive Director of the United Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County. “There is so much we can learn from such remarkable acts of courage and determination.”

It may come to no surprise that a story as incredible as Zamperini’s has Hollywood’s ears ringing and they’ve brought forward some of their best. The screenplay is to be composed by the Coen Brothers with Angelina Jolie scheduled to direct.

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PostSubject: Re: Unbroken News   Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:34 am

Is Louis Zamperini 'Unbroken' film on the near horizon?


At least three young actors are reportedly now on the leading-man short list for "Unbroken," the much-anticipated film based on the life of World War II hero and Torrance icon Louis Zamperini.

Filming is expected to begin later this year in Hawaii, according to published reports.

No official announcements have yet been made about the production based on author Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book by the same title.

But a June 13 Deadline Hollywood website piece -- which reported that director Angelina Jolie appeared to be narrowing down her picks for the lead role -- earned a link from Hillenbrand, who posted it on her public Facebook page along with this lead-in comment from the author: "Getting closer ..."

Launched in 2006 by Nikki Finke, former Deadline Hollywood columnist for LA Weekly, Deadline Hollywood has become a valued source of breaking news in the entertainment industry.

The flurry of recent Hollywood media progress reports would appear to portend good news for the film project, the latest attempt to chronicle At least three young actors are reportedly now on the leading-man short list for "Unbroken," the much-anticipated film based on the life of World War II hero and Torrance icon Louis Zamperini.

Filming is expected to begin later this year in Hawaii, according to published reports.

No official announcements have yet been made about the production based on author Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book by the same title.

But a June 13 Deadline Hollywood website piece -- which reported that director Angelina Jolie appeared to be narrowing down her picks for the lead role -- earned a link from Hillenbrand, who posted it on her public Facebook page along with this lead-in comment from the author: "Getting closer ..."

Launched in 2006 by Nikki Finke, former Deadline Hollywood columnist for LA Weekly, Deadline Hollywood has become a valued source of breaking news in the entertainment industry.

The flurry of recent Hollywood media progress reports would appear to portend good news for the film project, the latest attempt to chronicle At least three young actors are reportedly now on the leading-man short list for "Unbroken," the much-anticipated film based on the life of World War II hero and Torrance icon Louis Zamperini.

Filming is expected to begin later this year in Hawaii, according to published reports.

No official announcements have yet been made about the production based on author Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book by the same title.

But a June 13 Deadline Hollywood website piece -- which reported that director Angelina Jolie appeared to be narrowing down her picks for the lead role -- earned a link from Hillenbrand, who posted it on her public Facebook page along with this lead-in comment from the author: "Getting closer ..."

Launched in 2006 by Nikki Finke, former Deadline Hollywood columnist for LA Weekly, Deadline Hollywood has become a valued source of breaking news in the entertainment industry.

The flurry of recent Hollywood media progress reports would appear to portend good news for the film project, the latest attempt to chronicle Zamperini's life story for the big screen over the course of several decades.

According to the Deadline Hollywood report, undergoing screen tests to play the young Zamperini are:


Alexander Dreymon, 30, ("Blood Ransom").


Jack O'Connell, 22, ("300: Rise of an Empire").


Dane DeHaan, 27, ("Chronicle" and "The Amazing Spider-Man 2").

The actor who is ultimately selected would play Zamperini from his years as an Olympic track contender in 1936 through his World War II POW experiences.

The reports have not been independently confirmed, however, and a member of the production team indicated that many actors can be expected to be considered and tested for the part.

Hillenbrand, who serves with Zamperini as a consultant on the film project, originally liked the idea of casting actor Ryan Gosling, 32, in the lead role and Zamperini called Gosling "ideal" for the part in an interview with the Daily Breeze published on Jan. 27.

Other high-profile leading men who have been named include James Franco, 35, and Jake Gyllenhaal, 32.

"The family would like someone who resembles him: a distance runner, long lanky body, dark hair -- and piercing blue eyes, too," Zamperini's son, Luke, said in January.

The casting ultimately is in the hands of the filmmakers, and in particular Jolie, who recently told Hollywood reporters that she hopes the film will serve as an inspiration for her own three sons.

In February, Jolie hired Joel and Ethan Coen to rewrite an earlier script by "Les Miserables" co-writer William Nicholson. The Coen brothers have been acclaimed for their work, winning screenplay Oscars for "Fargo" and "No Country for Old Men."

The lead role, according to one producer interviewed in January by the Daily Breeze, has the potential to be a defining milestone for any young actor looking for a break-out part. The part will require a wide range of emotion and depth in portraying Zamperini's roller-coaster life experiences.

Few fictional tales could rival the real-life story of the Torrance High track star.

A trouble-prone youth, Zamperini discovered the thrill of competitive running to put him on the right track, going to the 1936 Berlin Olympics where he didn't win a medal but did meet Adolph Hitler. Looking forward to the 1940 Olympics, Zamperini joined the ranks of so many young men whose lives were disrupted by the outbreak of World War II.

He survived an air crash, followed by 47 days adrift in the Pacific and then two years in a Japanese POW camp, where he was brutally treated.

Since his return from the war and his subsequent life-changing Christian conversion, Zamperini has inspired thousands through his work with delinquent youths and frequent speaking engagements, where he talks about forgiveness and redemption.

He still makes appearances and is scheduled to speak Thursday at a fundraiser for the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County.

Despite the renewed Hollywood interest in his story -- including personal visits to his Hollywood Hills home by Jolie and Brad Pitt to discuss the project -- Zamperini hasn't changed much, said his longtime friend and former Torrance Mayor Ken Miller, 91.

"Louie is Louie," said Miller, who talks occasionally with Zamperini but noted that they don't discuss the movie project much. "He never blows his own horn."

The film about Zamperini has been a long time coming.

Universal first considered a feature-length movie about Zamperini in 1956, when Tony Curtis was eyed for the lead role. In later years, actor Nicholas Cage expressed an interest in the project.

But it wasn't until the 2010 release of Hillenbrand's book -- which continues to be on the New York Times Best Sellers' list -- that the film project finally got the jump-start it needed.

It will come none too soon for Zamperini's still-growing legion of fans.

Miller doesn't go to many movies anymore. But he'll be in line for "Unbroken."

"I wouldn't miss it," he said.









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