However you feel about Angelina Jolie’s acting abilities in front of the camera, you’ve got to give her credit for choosing some truly challenging projects to launch her budding career as director. The A-lister made her directorial debut back in 2011 with In The Land Of Blood And Honey, a romantic drama set against the brutally violent backdrop of the Bosnian War, and now she’s gearing up for her next film, a World War II-set survival epic based on the Laura Hillenbrand bestseller Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, which is set to start shooting this Fall.
Garret Hedlund, the star of Tron: Legacy and On The Road, has joined Unbroken in the supporting role of John Fitzgerald, the leader of prisoners at a Japanese internment camp, Variety reports.
Hedlund had initially been angling to play the lead part of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian and fighter pilot who spent 47 days adrift in the Pacific before being captured by the Japanese and spending two and a half more years being tortured in an internment camp, but it was previously announced that the demanding role of Zamperini had gone to Skins actor Jack O’Connell.
There’s a lot of talent involved behind the scenes in Unbroken as well. Roger Deakins (Skyfall, No Country for Old Men) has come on board as the film’s cinematographer, while his frequent collaborators Joel and Ethan Coen recently worked on the film’s screenplay, which also bears the work of writers William Nicholson and Roger LaGravenese.
Though Jolie is still mostly unproven in terms of directorial prowess, I’m confident that with all the talent involved with this project, Unbroken will be a gripping historical drama with terrific performances. I’m particularly excited to see O’Connell’s performance in the lead role – the young Brit was nothing short of riveting on Skins, and I’m glad someone in Hollywood has finally noticed his unmistakable acting ability.
Have you read Hildenbrand’s novel and, if so, what do you think of this casting? Should Jolie stick to acting, or are you excited to see what she can create behind the camera with Unbroken? Let us know in the comments section!