Angelina Jolie to Direct WWII Film ‘Unbroken’ for Universal

Film is based on a 2010 bestseller about Olympian and war hero Louis Zamperini

Angelina Jolie is in talks to direct the World War II drama "Unbroken" for Universal Pictures, the studio said Tuesday.

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The film is based on the Laura Hillenbrand 2010 bestseller "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” which chronicles the life of Olympic athlete Louis Zamperini, who was captured by the Japanese navy and detained at a prisoner-of-war camp after suffering a near-fatal plane crash and surviving on a raft for 47 days.

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“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,” Jolie said in a statement. “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 "Salt" actress made her directorial debut with last year's war drama "In the Land of Blood and Honey."

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"Les Misérables" writer William Nicholson wrote the latest draft for the project. An earlier draft was written by Richard LaGravanese ("P.S. I Love You"). Matthew Baer ("The Replacement Killers") and Erwin Stoff ("The Blind Side") are producing, with Mick Garris executive-producing.

Walden Media's chief executive officer Michael Bostick and senior vice president of production Amanda Morgan-Palmer will oversee the project on behalf of Walden Media, which is co-financing and co-producing. Universal co-president of production Peter Cramer and vice president of production Kristin Lowe will handle oversight for Universal.