You have to hand it to NBCUniversal; they know how to maximize cross-promotional opportunities. What better way to promote a film about an Olympic athlete taken as a prisoner of war during World War II than to put a teaser trailer for it right smack dab in the middle of the Olympics themselves and get Tom Brokaw to narrate it as if it were some sort of journalistic piece? That’s exactly what they’ve done with Unbroken, a based-on-real-events film about former Olympian Louis Zamperini.
Unbroken is no doubt a high profile film for Universal. It was directed and produced by Angelina Jolie and scripted by Joel and Ethan Coen , a few names you might recognize. The story of Louis Zamperini has lots going for it, too: the inspirational sports tale, triumph over adversity, the World War II backdrop and even a stranded-at-sea bit. Throw in a love interest (because come on, there’s going to be a love interest) and a sweeping score, and you’ve got just about the perfect award bait material.
In addition to the involvement of Jolie and the Coen brothers, Unbroken nabbed Roger Deakins as its cinematographer. Deakins has worked with the Coen brothers before on No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man and True Grit. Playing the lead role as Zamperini will be Jack O’Connell, whom moviegoers will be able to see prior to then in 300: Rise Of An Empire.
Hats off to the Vice President of Product Synergy at NBCUniversal for finding a way to marry their Olympic coverage, their very real and binding contract with Tom Brokaw, and their movie advertising budget together into one advertorial masterpiece.
Unbroken is scheduled to hit theaters on December 25th of this year, just in time for awards season. Check out the Olympic teaser trailer below for a preview of what’s to come.