Not too long ago, we had the pleasure of announcing Angelina Jolie’s sophomore effort as a director: Unbroken, about Olympian and POW Louis Zamperini. Now there’s good news on the Unbroken front as the film has landed a lead in Jack O’Connell and a cinematographer in Roger Deakins.
First: the cinematographer. Deakins might not be a household name like Jolie, but check out his filmography. He’s served as director of photography on Skyfall, No Country For Old Men, Jarhead, True Grit and The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. He’s also been nominated for ten Oscars. While Jolie’s directorial debut In The Land of Blood And Honey garnered critical praise, it’s still a good sign that such a high-profile director of photography wants to work with her.
The Roger Deakins connection comes as no surprise when one considers that Joel and Ethan Coen had a hand in rewriting the screenplay for Unbroken. Deakins worked closely with the Coens on No Country For Old Men and A Serious Man.
Meanwhile, on the casting front, Jack O’Connell (This Is England, 300: Rise Of An Empire) has landed the lead role as Louis Zamperini. Zamperini survived a plane crash during World War II, was captured by the Japanese, and spent 135 weeks in a prisoner-of-war camp. O’Connell has had a varied career, mostly in Britain, but he’s slowly becoming more high-profile with films like 300: Rise Of An Empire.
Unbroken sounds like a fascinating story – one which Jolie will hopefully do justice to. Here’s what she recently said via a press release:
I’ve had the privilege of spending a great deal of time with Louie Zamperini, who is a hero of mine, and now—I am proud to say—a dear friend. I am deeply honored to be telling his extraordinary story, and I will do my absolute best to give him the film he deserves. I am grateful to Universal for making this film a priority.
She certainly sounds prepared. It’s always good to know that a director feels dedicated to telling a story as accurately and honestly as possible.
Unbroken has been set for release by Universal on December 25, 2014.