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Coen Brothers Rewriting 'Unbroken' for Angelina Jolie to Direct at Universal, Based on True Story of Olympian POW Louis Zamperini

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 26, 2013 at 12:45PM

UPDATE: Universal, Walden Media and Angelina Jolie have tapped Joel and Ethan Coen to rewrite "Unbroken." Jolie will direct the project, which is an adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand's book about Louis Zamperini, a 1936 Olympian runner who became a prisoner of war during WWII...
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Jolie on the set of "In The Land of Blood and Honey"
Jolie on the set of "In The Land of Blood and Honey"

UPDATE: Universal, Walden Media and Angelina Jolie have tapped Joel and Ethan Coen to rewrite "Unbroken." Jolie plans to direct the costly project, which is an adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand's book about Louis Zamperini, a 1936 Olympian runner who became a prisoner of war during WWII.  After enlisting, he was captured by the Japanese when his plane went down in 1942; he and another crew mate survived on a raft for 47 days before being captured. Zamperini is now 96. The story has been In development for over half a century--and will only become more expensive with this latest A-list rewrite. Jolie is overseeing the final draft of the script, which was previously worked on by William Nicholson ("Les MIserables") and Richard LaGravenese ("The Mirror Has Two Faces").

Jolie wants this to be her follow-up to her 2011 directing debut "In The Land of Blood and Honey." She states:

“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. 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.”

The casting of Zamperini will undoubtedly spark a lot of interest. Those who have have seen "Blood and Honey" know the material is right up Jolie's alley. [Deadline/THR]

This article is related to: News, News, Angelina Jolie, In The Land of Blood and Honey, Biopics, IN THE WORKS, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.