Angelina Jolie is has been working on her second feature film as a director with her project, Unbroken. A sneak peek has leaked online and it is taking advantage of the Winter Olympics as it highlights the athletic achievements of the film’s real-life subject. Ms. Jolie wrapped filming the movie in Australia in various locations like Tamworth, Canberra, Cockatoo Island in Sydney and the Roadshow studios complex on the Gold Coast.
The film is based on the best-selling biography written by Laura Hillenbrand, the same author who wrote Seabiscuit which was turned into a film in 2003. Unbroken tells the story of Louis Zamperini who was born in 1917. Zamperini parlayed his talent for running into and away from trouble when he joined the US athletic team for the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. The film, Unbroken, was written by Joel and Ethan Coen along with Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson.
Louis Zamperini was a driven young man. The voice-over for the featurette declares: “the will to push through any obstacle, the drive never to give in to defeat.” Jack O’Connell, an English actor who stars on the television show Skins and stared as the soccer legend Bobby Charlton in the film in United, stars at Zamperini, who ran 5,000 meters in Berlin even though he was a 1,500 meter specialist. The footage for the film shows him pushing through the pain barrier on the track.
Unbroken promises to be a story about endurance. When the Americans entered the Second World War, Zamperini joined the Air Force as a bombardier. His plane was shot down over the Pacific and he and two of his crewmates survived thanks to a set of life rafts. The men were adrift for 47 days; they were near death due to starvation, only to be taken as prisoners of war by the Japanese. The anthem that was played for him while on the track was “If I can Take it, I Can Make I,” was able to help him survive the two years he was a POW. He suffered extreme conditions which included regular beatings at the hands of an evil guard known to the prisoners as “The Bird.”
Some of the scenes from the film and the trailer draws on the presence of Zamperini, who is now 97 years old. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Unbroken is set to be released on Christmas Day.