• Felicity Jones may have helped put director Drake Doremus on the map with her affecting performance in his lovely indie Like Crazy, and then again in Breathe In, but Doremus is eying a new heroine for his next project: Kristen Stewart. The director is reportedly courting the Twilight star and Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies) for Equals, a science fiction love story. Moon scribe Nathan Parker wrote the script. [Deadline]
Tag: Unbroken (1-6 of 6)
Hollywood has been trying to bring Louie Zamperini’s amazing true story to the screen for more than 50 years. At one point in the 1960s, Universal had Tony Curtis lined up to play the one-time Olympic runner and heroic World War II airman who was shot down over the Pacific and somehow survived sharks, starvation, and a brutal Japanese POW camp.
Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling 2010 book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, revitalized interest in a movie about him, and Angelina Jolie landed the project as her next directorial effort. Zamperini was a champion distance runner who competed at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. He enlisted in the Army Air Force before Pearl Harbor and was flying missions in the Pacific when his plane crashed in 1942, killing eight of the 11 men aboard. The three survivors floated for days on a life raft, and two of them eventually were captured by the Japanese, who imprisoned them until the end of the war. After the war, Zamperini became a Christian inspirational speaker who met and forgave many of the Japanese guards who had abused him during his incarceration.
Now 96, Zamperini has become close friends with Jolie, his neighbor in the Hollywood Hills. “It will be hard to make a film worthy of this great man,” says Jolie, in a statement. “I am deeply honored to have the chance and will do all I can to bring Louie’s inspiring story to life. … Like all readers of Laura’s book and all people who love and admire Louie, I am a fan who has learned so much. He has made me a better person.”
Click below to watch Zamperini’s 2012 appearance on the Tonight Show. READ FULL STORY
• Tron: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund is set to time travel to World War II for Universal’s adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, about Olympian and prisoner of war Lou Zamperini and his incredible story of survival. Angelina Jolie is directing the adaptation, which stars Jack O’Connell in the lead role. Hedlund will play a fellow POW in the Japanese camp where Zamperini ends up after surviving on a raft in the Pacific for 28 days. Joel and Ethan Coen, who directed Hedlund in Inside Llewyn Davis, are the latest writers tasked with revising the script which has also passed by the desks of William Nicholson (Gladiator) and Richard LaGravenese (Behind the Candelabra). Unbroken will hit theaters on Dec. 25, 2014. [Variety]
Casting Net: Elizabeth Olsen for 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'?; Plus, Bradley Cooper in talks to voice Rocket Raccoon, more
• Elizabeth Olsen is reportedly in talks to play Wanda Maximoff (also known as the Scarlet Witch) in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The Marvel character is the offspring of Magneto (an X-Men character and Fox property) and boasts the ability to reshape reality and alter probabilities. Olsen broke out in the independent world with her role in Martha Marcy May Marlene, but it seems like she has broader, more mainstream plans — she recently wrapped Godzilla and will be appearing in Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake. [Bleeding Cool]
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• Halle Berry has decided to stay small for her next project. The Oscar winner (for Monster’s Ball) will take on the independent comedy Mother, about a woman who escapes life with a mobster by pretending to be the mother of a young guy she meets on the run. Emilio Ferrari (I Know What You Did Last Winter) is directing the project. According to the report, the film will be tonally similar to How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Berry most recently starred in the modest thriller The Call, and is currently filming X-Men: Days of Future Past where she’s reprising her role as Storm. [Variety]
Joel and Ethan Coen have signed on to work on Angelina Jolie’s next project, EW confirmed Monday. The Oscar-winning screenwriters (Adapted for No Country For Old Men, and Original for Fargo), have agreed to rewrite the script for a film about Lou Zamperini, a former Olympian who was captured by the Japanese Navy while serving as an Air Force pilot in World War II. Jolie will direct.
The script will be based on Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling 2010 novel Unbroken, but the idea of a Zamperini project has been in the works for decades, with versions by screenwriters such as William Nicholson (Gladiator) and Richard LaGravanese (The Bridges of Madison County). After Zamperini’s B-24 crashed in the Pacific, he and two crew mates (one died at sea) survived on a tiny raft for 47 days, only to be taken prisoner and held in a Japanese internment camp for two and a half years. Assumed to be dead, Zamperini received a hero’s welcome upon his return to the United States and later returned to Japan to carry the Olympic torch at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, not far from where he had been imprisoned during WWII.
This will be Jolie’s first narrative feature since In The Land of Blood And Honey, her directorial debut. The Coen brothers, meanwhile, are best known for their success writing and directing their own projects – though they have written scripts for other directors, including Michael Hoffman’s Gambit, with Alan Rickman and Cameron Diaz, which should be released in the United States sometime in 2013. Regardless, this is an interesting, high-profile partnership on a story that seems to have awards potential written all over it.
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