Angelina Jolie To Helm World War II POW Tale Unbroken

Angelina Jolie has really become a working woman: actress, humanitarian, mother, UN Ambassador (is that still going on?) and, since In The Land Of Blood And Honey, director. Makes me feel like I don’t work hard enough. Now Jolie is set to helm her next directorial project, in the form of Unbroken, an adaptation of a non-fiction book by Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand.

The film will follow the true story of Olympic athlete and World War II POW Louis Zamperini, an American track star who competed in the 1936 Olympics and then served in World War II. When his plane was shot down, he survived with two other compatriots on a raft for 47 days. They reached the Marshall Islands, where Zamperini and the other sole survivor were held captive in a Japanese POW camp until the end of the war, three years later. But Zamperini did not quite bear a grudge, carrying the torch at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan and forgiving the notorious Japanese POW sergeant Mutsuhiro Watanabe. Watanabe refused to meet Zamperini, declaring that he did what he did because he viewed “the prisoners as enemies of Japan.” Zamperini, meanwhile, will be 96 next month.

Well, damn. It’s quite a story, perfect for a film adaptation. Tony Curtis wanted to make the film way back when, after he had filmed Spartacus, but that never happened. The current film was written by Richard LaGravenese and since polished by William Nicholson. Casting will soon begin and the film is slated to begin shooting, with Angelina Jolie at the helm, in 2013.

I admit that I never actually saw In The Land Of Blood And Honey. Although it wasn’t exactly a blockbuster, I do seem to remember it getting some critical praise. While I’m not a huge Jolie fan in general, this one does sound like a great story and I’m always in support of more female directors. It will be interesting to see if Angelina Jolie is up to the task of adapting such a harrowing tale.

What do you think? Is Angelina Jolie taking on more than she should for only her second directorial outing? Let us know in the comments below!

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