Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Venice Review: Tom McCarthy's 'Spotlight' With Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber & Stanley Tucci Venice Review: Tom McCarthy's 'Spotlight' With Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber & Stanley Tucci Watch: Amazing First Trailer For Yorgos Lanthimos' 'The Lobster' With Colin Farrell & Rachel Weisz Watch: Amazing First Trailer For Yorgos Lanthimos' 'The Lobster' With Colin Farrell & Rachel Weisz Venice Review: Cary Joji Fukunaga's 'Beasts Of No Nation' Starring Idris Elba Venice Review: Cary Joji Fukunaga's 'Beasts Of No Nation' Starring Idris Elba The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2015 Toronto International Film Festival The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2015 Toronto International Film Festival On The Rise 2015: 20 Screenwriters To Watch On The Rise 2015: 20 Screenwriters To Watch Review: Netflix's 'Narcos' Starring Wagner Moura And Boyd Holbrook Review: Netflix's 'Narcos' Starring Wagner Moura And Boyd Holbrook Joaquin Phoenix Says He Doesn’t Think Making A Blockbuster Would Be "Fulfilling," Calls Chris Pine "F*cking Genius" Joaquin Phoenix Says He Doesn’t Think Making A Blockbuster Would Be "Fulfilling," Calls Chris Pine "F*cking Genius" Watch: Chloe Moretz Fights The Others In First Trailer For 'The 5th Wave' Watch: Chloe Moretz Fights The Others In First Trailer For 'The 5th Wave' James Bond Author Says Idris Elba Is "Too Street" To Play 007, And Bond Is "Weak" In 'Skyfall' James Bond Author Says Idris Elba Is "Too Street" To Play 007, And Bond Is "Weak" In 'Skyfall' Cary Fukunaga Says He "Wasn't Involved" With 'True Detective' Season 2, Explains His Departure From 'It' Cary Fukunaga Says He "Wasn't Involved" With 'True Detective' Season 2, Explains His Departure From 'It' Andrew Garfield Talks “The Pressure To Get It Right” for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Films & If He'll Do Another Franchise Andrew Garfield Talks “The Pressure To Get It Right” for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Films & If He'll Do Another Franchise Fall 2015 TV Preview: Our 25 Most Anticipated Shows Fall 2015 TV Preview: Our 25 Most Anticipated Shows 'Batman v Superman' And Why Early Screening Reports Need To Be Taken With A Grain Of Kryptonite 'Batman v Superman' And Why Early Screening Reports Need To Be Taken With A Grain Of Kryptonite Looks Like That Black-And-White Version Of 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Isn't Getting A Blu-Ray Release After All Looks Like That Black-And-White Version Of 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Isn't Getting A Blu-Ray Release After All The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far 17 Copycat Films Spawned From Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction' 17 Copycat Films Spawned From Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction'

Francis Lawrence Out, Angelina Jolie In To Direct WWII Film 'Unbroken'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist December 18, 2012 at 10:52PM

This fall, Francis Lawrence suddenly got very busy. Not only is the director helming "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," he locked himself in for the final two movies of the franchise, parts one and two of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay." This effectively means he's busy with the series right through to the end of 2015, which means that the handful of projects he'd been linked to, some of those are going to fall by the wayside. And indeed, one of them has, but it's been picked up by a very big name.
1
Angelina Jolie Unbroken

This fall, Francis Lawrence suddenly got very busy. Not only is the director helming "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," he locked himself in for the final two movies of the franchise, parts one and two of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay." This effectively means he's busy with the series right through to the end of 2015, which means that the handful of projects he'd been linked to, some of those are going to fall by the wayside. And indeed, one of them has, but it's been picked up by a very big name.

Angelina Jolie is getting ready to follow up with her feature debut "In The Land Of Blood And Honey" with another wartime true story in "Unbroken," that was originally slated for Lawrence back at the beginning of 2011. Based on "Seabiscuit" writer Laura Hillenbrand's bestseller "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption," the film will tell the amazing story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian who endured unbelievable hardship while a Japanese POW during WWII. He was subjected to medical experiments, slave labor, and brutal beatings and became the target of one sadistic guard in particular, Mutsuhiro Watanabe, whose goal it was to break Zamperini. The athlete 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 and 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).

The decades in the making of movie, that is set up at Universal, now has a script from William Nicholson ("Les Miserables," "Gladiator") who took the first draft by Richard LaGravanese over the finish line. Jolie, who apparently campaigned for the movie and beat out some other directors who wanted the gig, will do a pass on the script, and then start work on it, with production aiming to start next year. This is a big leap for Jolie, whose 'Blood And Honey' was a smaller scale indie venture, while this will clearly be on a much larger canvas. But it sounds like the kind of thing that can be a homerun if done right, and no doubt Jolie is preparing hard. So we'll keep an eye on this, but it looks like directing wasn't just a one-off lark for Jolie. [Deadline]

This article is related to: Francis Lawrence, Angelina Jolie, Unbroken


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates