Deadline’s Mike Fleming is hearing that Angelina Jolie is in final negotiations with Universal Pictures and Walden Media to take the director’s chair for the WWII prisoner of war drama ‘Unbroken.’
The film is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s non-fiction bestseller ‘Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,’ and tells the unbelievable story of Olympian distance runner-turned-WWII POW, Louis Zamperini, who survived a plane crash during the war and survived on a raft in the hot sun for 47 days, battling hunger, thirst and sharks. He was captured by the Japanese and sentenced to time in a prisoner of war camp where Zamperini was targeted by a sadistic captor.
“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 in a statement. “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 film will mark Jolie’s second feature as a director after last year’s ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey.’ Production is expected to kick off next year with the latest draft of the script coming from ‘Gladiator’ and ‘Les Misérables’ screenwriter William Nicholson.