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Angelina Jolie Directing 'Unbroken', Story of Louis Zamperini

Angelina Jolie Directing 'Unbroken', Story of Louis Zamperini

Angelina Jolie is in final negotiations to direct the upcoming film Unbroken, the story of Olympian-turned-World War II prisoner of war Louis Zamperini, according to Deadline.

“I read Laura Hillenbrand‘s brilliant book, and I was so moved by Louie Zamperini‘s heroic story, I immediately began to fight for the opportunity to make this film,” the 37-year-old filmmaker said in a statement. “Louie is a true hero and a man of immense humanity, faith and courage. I am deeply honored to have the chance to tell his inspiring story.”

“In her life and in her work, Angelina has embraced stories and causes involving great struggle and triumph over tremendous odds and the basic human condition,” Universal Pictures heads Adam Fogelson and Donna Langley said in a statement. “She has a real ability to illustrate he strength in human spirit which will be essential in telling Lou‘s story of survival and great heroism.”

Unbroken will be Angelina‘s second feature as a director after last year’s In the Land of Blood and Honey.

FYI: Today is Angie‘s partner Brad Pitt‘s 49th birthday! Hope it is a great one!

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Credit: Dan Kitwood; Photos: Getty
Posted to: Angelina Jolie, Unbroken

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  • lurker

    Love this woman, go girl

  • 9 months…

    I am so happy for Angie! Go her!

  • lurker

    happy birthday brad pitt you have been my fav actor forever

  • lurker

    wow angie is amazing she always surprises me,so proud to be a fan

  • William Bradley&The Jolie

    I got so excited by The Jolie’s news that I forgot to wish the one and only William Bradley Pitt a most wonderful 49th. Hope he had a wonderful celebration and with many, many more wonderful ones to come.

  • Cate

    Wonderful news! Zamperini’s story is an incredible one and deserved to be told. I hope they can finally do it justice onscreen.

  • luvangie4ever

    Whoa this is huge! Really great news, the book is indeed fantastic. And Angie is the perfect person to direct it. Love this news!!!

  • lurker

    Angelina Jolie To Direct ‘Unbroken,’ The Incredible Story Of Lou Zamperini
    By MIKE FLEMING JR. | Tuesday December 18, 2012 @ 9:19pm EST

    EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and Walden Media are in final negotiations with with Angelina Jolie to direct Unbroken, the unbelievable story of Olympian-turned-WWII POW Louis Zamperini. The project, which Universal has developed for going on 55 years, is closer than ever to becoming a reality. Matthew Baer and Erwin Stoff are producing.

    For Jolie, this will mark her second film as director after she made her debut on In The Land Of Blood And Honey. This will be her first directing outing on a major studio film. It’s easy to imagine that the world’s biggest female star gets whatever she wants, but I’m told that she campaigned hard for the film against a number of other directors. Universal execs were very impressed with her sophisticated treatment of difficult subject matter. Her detailed take on Zamperini won her this job.

    “In her life and in her work, Angelina has embraced stories and causes involving great struggle and triumph over tremendous odds and the basic human condition,” Fogelson and Langley said in a statement. “She has a real ability to illustrate he strength in human spirit which will be essential in telling Lou’s story of survival and great heroism.”

    The film has a new script draft by Gladiator and Les Miserables co-writer William Nicholson, who rewrote an earlier draft by Richard LaGravanese. The script is based on Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption, the book by Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand which has been on The New York Times bestseller list for over 108 straight weeks.

    “I read Laura Hillenbrand’s brilliant book, and I was so moved by Louie Zamperini’s heroic story, I immediately began to fight for the opportunity to make this film,” Jolie said. “Louie is a true hero and a man of immense humanity, faith and courage. I am deeply honored to have the chance to tell his inspiring story.”

    I have been obsessed with Zamperini since I saw a segment on his ordeal broadcast during the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Zamperini was there to run with the Olympic torch, covering ground not far from where he spent an unimaginably brutal stretch in a Japanese prison camp during WWII. That is only a small part of Zamperini’s tale.

    A troubled and rambunctious Depression era kid, Zamperini found his stride as a track prodigy who was the youngest member of the U.S. team that traveled to Berlin for the 1936 Olympics. He didn’t medal, but turned in such a blazing final lap that Hitler asked to meet him. The expectation was that Zamperini would be a favorite to win a medal in the 1940 Olympics scheduled for Tokyo. Unfortunately, those games were canceled because of WWII. When Zamperini landed in Japan, he was wearing the uniform of an Air Force bombardier.

    After his aircraft went down in the Pacific during a rescue mission, Zamperini and two other crew mates survived on a raft in the hot sun for 47 days, battling hunger, thirst and sharks. It got worse when they were caught by the Japanese Navy. That started a terrifying term of captivity at the hands of brutal Japanese guards who threatened to behead Zamperini, and who beat him brutally. One sadistic guard in particular exulted in trying to break Zamperini, but he could never do it. And by the time Zamperini returned to Japan and carried that torch, he’d forgiven his brutal captor–known as The Bird–and even offered to meet him to forgive him in person. The man refused.

    The studio first bought Zamperini’s rights back in the 1950s, when Tony Curtis was eager to play Zamperini as his followup to Spartacus. Few movies gestate as long as this one, but it’s clear from Hillenbrand’s remarkable book that it was wise to wait. Zamperini had a lot of work to do to make himself whole again after enduring an ordeal that would break even the strongest of men. The unsung hero in the formation of this movie is Baer, the producer who has been struggling for 14 years to keep a promise to Zamperini. The project gained steam after Hillenbrand’s book was published and gave Zamperini’s story new urgency.

    Jolie will oversee a final draft and then there is casting and a tough production schedule, but this movie should find its way into production next year. It’s co-financed by Universal and Walden, whose CEO Michael Bostick called Zamperini “one of history’s most incredible and inspiring stories.”

    Zamperini turns 96 in January, and with the passion that Jolie and Universal now have for this story, he should have the opportunity to be part of its production and hopefully to see Unbroken on the screen. Jolie’s repped by UTA for directing and attorney Robert Offer.

  • Rose

    You go girl!! congratulations to the beautiful and talented ms Jolie Pitt. Your mother is looking down from heaven I’m sure she is smiling right now. Brad and your children must be so proud of you.

  • http://! hag

    angie is an inspiration. no wonder brad loves her. also, happy birthday brad pitt!
    btw i told my man to get me chanel #5 for christmas.

  • mrst

    I am happy for Anige…I can’t wait…God bless the Jolie-Pitts!

  • lauren

    WOW this is exciting news. I had no ideas. Good for her.

  • Flabby manly face of Angelina

    horrible face she has

  • Wonderbust

    So excited for Angie! trolls will have a major meltdown tonight.

  • lanas-world

    Awesome woman. Always was and always will be.

  • Wonderbust

    so who do you all think or want to play Zamperini?

  • Hope
  • Susan

    Congrats Angie.
    You can’t keep a good woman down.
    It’s going to be a long night for the spamming troll.

  • lurker

    @AJ is hypocrite:
    meltdown alert,poor losers,angie rocks

  • Flabby manly face of Angelina

    No Hope, I really mean that Angelina’s face is horrible! So square and big and old and ugly! shes really gross!
    Seriously her face is hideous! I even cant realize that yous are saying her face is perfect! YOU NEED GLASSES! Shes not beautiful at all! Not the classic beauty

  • [~Fug Face Man!ston~]

    Who flopped?

  • lurker

    lol at the troll the loser forgot thant maniston invented ugly,the ugly big nose,the long chin,and beady eyes

  • food 4 thought

    The Zamp is my hero. His story of unimaginable suffering and his strength and perseverance are so inspiring. And with faith and love, he not only survived, he thrived. God bless him a thousand times over – I’ll bet he will be excited that his story is coming to the screen. Jake G resembles the young Louis a bit, imo.

  • groundcontrol

    Great news! Jolie showed real talent in her first feature length movie and it’s wonderful to see this woman stepping behind the camera once again.
    It indeed will be a fascinating casting opportunity.

  • NE1

    OMG she actually looks pretty, it must be for a movie.

  • Jen the HAG

    Good News for the JPs.. sigh i guees JENHAGS are in the meltdown mode and rampage in 3, 2, 1 ….. bwahahhahahh!!

  • groundcontrol

    Here’s another article on Angie’s new job -
    Angelina Jolie in Talks to Direct WWII POW Drama UNBROKEN
    by Adam Chitwood Posted: December 18th, 2012 at 6:56 pm
    A feature film adaptation of author Laura Hillenbrand’s non-fiction bestseller Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption has been a coveted property essentially since the book hit shelves, and now it looks like the pic may finally be moving forward.
    Universal Pictures acquired the book rights back in January of 2011 for Francis Lawrence to direct and Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) set to write the script. The studio brought on Richard LaGravenese (P.S. I Love You) to take over scripting duties the following March, but movement has been stalled ever since.
    The book tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian and WWII bombardier whose plane crashed at sea in 1943. Zamperini and two crewmates floated adrift for 47 days and 2000, eventually finding themselves caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a POW camp where Zamperini was targeted by a sadistic overseer.
    The project has now gained some strong momentum, as Angelina Jolie is being targeted to take the helm. Hit the jump for more.
    Per Deadline, Jolie is in final negotiations with Universal and Walden Media to direct the feature film adaptation. Universal first bought Zamperini’s life rights back in the 1950s, so this project has been a very long time coming. The most recent draft of the script was written by Gladiator and Les Miserables scribe William Nicholson, and Jolie will oversee the fine-tuning of the script as production is expected to begin next year.
    This will mark Jolie’s second film as a director, following last year’s Bosnian War drama In the Land of Blood and Honey. Apparently the Oscar-winning actress fought hard to land the job, beating out a number of other directors who were gunning to take the helm.
    It’s definitely an amazing story, and Jolie showed true talent behind the camera with Blood and Honey so hopefully she’ll be able to turn out something special.

  • Jen the HAG

    i bet the JENHENS will copy and post all the lames post they have been posting in JJ for the last 8 years. The same post, the same losers and Angelina Jolie still at the top of her game .. bwahahhahhahahhahahh!!! I pity the LOONY TICK FANS .. it’s a sad christmas for them but a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS FOR THE JP FANS !!!

  • Good Lord, NO!!


  • yolly

    That’s our Angie, with talent & beauty. Happy birthday Brad !!! God bless the Jolie Pitt Family.


    puke / projectile vomit
    final negotiation? FJWP will cinch deal
    jolie still vvhoring as usual
    leaving lots superstinky FJWP
    many vile rotting soiled undergarment
    horrible stench
    CHANEL N°5 no help
    jolie biggest vvhore ever
    FJWP thick on ground
    all over BAMPZSKVille
    all over universal pictures
    all over miraval and rest of south of france
    all over kurdistan
    all over baghdad
    all over turkey
    all over lebanon
    all over jordan
    all over shores of windermere
    all over the lake district
    all over le touquet-paris-plage
    all over costa navarino
    all over messinia
    all over pylos
    all over santorini
    all over paul allen octopus yacht
    all over charter yacht mystique
    all over olympics venue
    all over sarajevo
    all over wilton park
    all over sussex
    all over kent
    all over canterbury
    all over buckinghamshire
    all over ashridge estate
    all over chiltern hills
    all over unhcr hq
    all over heathrow
    all over richmond
    all over pinewood studio
    all over westminster
    all over mayfair
    all over sphinx
    all over pyramid
    all over egypt
    all over galapagos
    float in ocean
    plug surrey sewer
    toxic biohazard
    use thickest rubber
    use gaz mask
    use hazmat suit
    use long pole
    use net
    use tong like big blue one
    disease 4 u you
    u puke anyway
    u r warned now

  • Danny

    Congratulations Angie, I am so proud to be a fan, Happy Birthday again Brad

  • yolly

    Waving to Neleh,Lara,Senior,Vicki,Anoble,Shar,Kimmy & to all lovely fans of Brad & Angie all over the world.God bless us all. God bless the Jolie Pitt Family.

  • yolly

    Happy Birthday Brad. I am sure, you are happy in your state of your life because you are with your lovely wife Angie & beautiful 6 children. God bless you & your family.

  • yolly


  • Love the JoliePitts

    What an AMAZING woman. And so deserving. I love what they say about her here -
    ““In her life and in her work, Angelina has embraced stories and causes involving great struggle and triumph over tremendous odds and the basic human condition,” Fogelson and Langley said in a statement. “She has a real ability to illustrate the strength in human spirit which will be essential in telling Lou’s story of survival and great heroism.”
    “Universal execs were very impressed with her sophisticated treatment of difficult subject matter. Her detailed take on Zamperini won her this job.”
    Angelina got selected on her own merits. She is KNOWN in the circles that matter as a Professional! Brilliantly and perfectly QUALIFIED to do the job she is called upon to do. Amazing woman. Brad must be so very proud of his “Missus!”


    Not waving to Neleh,Lara,Senior,Vicki,Anoble,Shar,Kimmy & to all ugly fans of Brad & Angie all over the world.
    God bless us every one.


    first again!!!


    no vvhore like a jolie vvhore

  • Love the JoliePitts

    All I want to know now is can Brad play Zamperini!
    Angelina and Brad working together. The Dynamic Duo working their magic together again on screen. And for Brad to win the Oscar for this role.
    OMG!!!!! Now this I would love!!!

  • Ssshhii_baby

    waving hi to all the Jolie-Pitt fans from around the world!! look at our girl!! like everything else she does she will excel!! she makes me proud to be her fan!! she didn’t just sit there an proclaim” I’m just jumping out of my skin o direct”! she went out there proved herself beating out other director to get the job!! congrats! listen up Loonifers this is how you do it! don’t just talk about it, be about it! happy birthday to Angie’s husband!

  • Wonderbust

    I said this on the other thread but I i will repeat, ticky’s bestie Jennifer Meyer’s dad is the CEO of Universal lmao, thats gotta burn the hens..

  • Jaye

    Hey Fans! All I can say is wow, just WOW!

  • groundcontrol

    @Love the JoliePitts:
    All I want to know now is can Brad play Zamperini!
    I don’t think so. Zamperini was in his 20s during the war. But it is going to be delicious coming up with names.

  • Dc

    Happy Birthday Brad! I am sure you, Angelina and kids had a great day.

    Congratulations Angelina, you’ll do another fabulous job at directing. I will see anything you direct in or act. Love ya Jolie-Pitts and miss you.

  • groundcontrol

    Perhaps Ben Whishaw. He is an excellent actor and he has the look of that era.

  • er5105

    Remember when this woman used to wear her husbands blood around her neck???? Now she’s PURE perfection.

    Jolie is proof that ANYONE can change. Love her!

  • Love the JoliePitts

    Happy Birthday to the handsomest man this world has ever seen.
    Brad I trust your birthday was extra special. I wonder what delightful little presents your little Angels surprised you with today. And what did your favorite girl in all the world do for you and to you on this your very special birthday. You have reached a milestone with many more beautiful milestones to come with your beautiful wife Angelina always right there by your side thru each and every one of them.
    May God bless you, Angelina and your children with a life rich and full of so much love, love you and Angelina never knew you could reach such heights together. And joy overflowing in both your lives with each other and with your children.

  • William Bradley&The Jolie

    I know the article mentions that they are in “final negotiations” but from all of the details, it sounds like they are ready to move on this. I wonder, if in some respect, pre-production hasn’t already started. Maybe one of the fans who is more familiar with the movie making process can give some insight. Also, is it unusual for someone to make the jump from indie director to studio director this quickly?

    Also, I was thinking how awesome, and convenient, it would be if Brad films 20,000 leagues in Australia and then Angelina films there as well, taking advantage of the location (for the outdoor scene anyway).

  • Love the JoliePitts

    Ohhhh nooo. Say it ain’t so Groundcontrol.

    Remember when Brad and Angelina were on the ITLOBAH RC earlier this year and Pennacoli (sp?) asked Angie when she would direct Brad and Brad said maybe 2013?
    That interview popped into my head when I read this article. Brad did Benjamin Button and looked so young there….the director and special effects can work their magic and make this happen.
    You know I know I am probably asking for the impossible, but OMG!!!! i can see Brad accepting the Oscar for his role in this movie directed by Mrs. Angelina JoliePitt.