Universal has released three new behind-the-scenes photos of Angelina Jolie directing her second helming effort, Unbroken. The true story of Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) follows the war hero from Olympian to airman who was shot down during World War II and survived for 47 days in a raft.
Zamperini’s survival in the raft would have been the stuff of legend if that was the end of that chapter in his life. He was then captured by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp where he would toil until his release.
Jolie is directing the story that is currently shooting in Australia and is set for a December 25, 2014 release.
Universal has also released the film’s first official synopsis:
Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie directs and produces Unbroken, an epic drama that follows the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII -- only to be caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
Director Jolie began shooting some of the most dramatic and challenging scenes on Wednesday, October 16, on location far out at sea in Moreton Bay, Australia, with Zamperini (O’Connell) and his fellow airmen -- Phil (Domhnall Gleeson) and Mac (Finn Wittrock) -- having impossibly survived being adrift in the open Pacific for several weeks.
Working with cameras on a floating rig in choppy waters and braving the elements, with actors dieting for months to appear as depleted as their characters, Jolie completed a successful first day of a location shoot that promises to be rigorous and uniquely challenging.
Adapted from Laura Hillenbrand’s (Seabiscuit: An American Legend) enormously popular book, Unbroken brings to the big screen Zamperini’s unbelievable and inspiring true story about the resilient power of the human spirit.
Starring alongside O’Connell, Gleeson and Wittrock are Garrett Hedlund and John Magaro as fellow POWs who find an unexpected camaraderie during their internment, Alex Russell as Zamperini’s brother, Pete, and in his English-language feature debut, Japanese actor Miyavi as the brutal camp guard known only to the men as “The Bird.”
The film is produced by Jolie, as well as Matthew Baer (City by the Sea), Erwin Stoff (The Day the Earth Stood Still) and Clayton Townsend (This Is 40). Leading the accomplished behind-the-scenes crew is 10-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins (Skyfall).
Academy Award winners Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men) rewrote the screenplay from earlier drafts by William Nicholson (Les Miserables) and Richard LaGravenese (HBO’s Behind the Candelabra).