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Dane DeHaan Among Those In The Mix To Lead Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken'

by Kevin Jagernauth
June 13, 2013 5:21 PM
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Angelina Jolie's greatest battle this year might just be her valiant effort against cancer, surviving thanks to a double mastectomy, modestly going public with her story and then heading back to work on her next project. It's the true WWII story "Unbroken," and after gaining a rewrite from the Coen Brothers earlier this year (nice), she's starting to search for the lead for the movie she'll direct.

And Deadline reports that rising star Dane DeHaan ("Chronicle," "Lawless," "The Place Beyond The Pines," "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"), Jack O'Connell ("300: Rise Of An Empire") and some guy named Alexander Dreymon are all testing for the part. And it's a pretty meaty role. Based on "Seabiscuit" writer Laura Hillenbrand's bestseller "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption," the film will tell the tale of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian who endured medical experiments, slave labor, and brutal beatings as a Japanese POW during WWII. He became the target of one sadistic guard in particular, Mutsuhiro Watanabe, whose goal it was to break Zamperini. He endured his harsh punishment right though until the end of the war, but the lingering effects were still felt. He routinely had terrifying nightmares, suffered alcoholism but, on the verge of losing everything, he found God and forgave his captors, even traveling to Japan to forgive them in person (though Watanabe refused to meet him).

So, yeah, it's the kind of part that has "awards season" written all over it, and Jolie is searching high and low for the right actor. But a decision will likely come soon as lensing is aiming to get started this fall. 

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  • Jason Maxwell | June 14, 2013 11:31 PMReply

    Dane DeHaan is easily one of the most talented young actors working in hollywood right now. If Angie doesn't choose him I'll be really surprised.

  • Real | June 13, 2013 7:10 PMReply

    "some guy named Alexander Dreymon are all testing for the part" That's rather rude. Just because he's an unknown and you don't have a Playlist boner for him.

  • kitcon | June 13, 2013 5:38 PMReply

    DeHaan could certainly nail the truant / stubborn part but he also needs to show a light-hearted side, a mischievous sense of humor. Those have been less visible in his past roles.

  • DAVE B. | June 13, 2013 5:57 PM

    Having seen his excellent performance (and his best one yet) in Kill Your Darlings at Sundance earlier this year, I can say that he would absolutely NAIL the part like he does with everything he gets cast in.

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