Jack O'Connell (“300: Rise of an Empire”) stars as Louis Zamperini, an American track star who survived a plane crash and a harrowing oceanic ordeal only to become a POW in a Japanese prison camp during WWII.
Hedlund will play a fellow prisoner at the camp where Zamperini is being held captive.
Jolie is producing with Matthew Baer, Erwin Stoff and Clayton Townsend, while Mick Garris will executive produce. Joel and Ethan Coen did the latest pass on the script, earlier drafts of which were written by William Nicholson and Richard LaGravenese. The film is based on the bestselling book by “Seabiscuit” author Laura Hillenbrand.
Universal execs Kristin Lowe and Sara Scott are overseeing “Unbroken” for the studio, whose Donna Langley and Peter Cramer championed the long-gestating project. Universal has had Zamperini’s life rights since 1957.
Production starts this fall, as the Zamperini tale runs into theaters on Christmas Day 2014 alongside musicals “Into the Woods” and “Annie.”
Hedlund, who will soon be seen in the Coen brothers’ folk music tale “Inside Llewyn Davis,” is currently filming William Monahan‘s thriller “Mojave.” He’s repped by WME.
Hedlund’s casting was first reported by Variety.