Zamperini’s plane crashed in 1943 and he drifted in the ocean for nearly 47 days before being captured by the Japanese Army. He was taken as a prisoner of war for two years and brutally tortured before eventually returning to the U.S. after the end of the war.
The latest clip released on Thursday flashes moments from Zamperini’s heroic story on the screen, from his plane being showered with enemy bullets back to his performance at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and him sinking underwater after being shot down at sea. “I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news,” he tells his raft-mates as they are rocked by waves and circled by sharks.
“We have an Olympic athlete in our camp. Look at me — you are nothing,” his wartime nemesis, The Bird, later tells the captive, as the Japanese commander knocks him out cold with a wooden stick.
Los Angeles native Zamperini went on to become a born-again Christian, preaching forgiveness for much of the rest of his life, until he passed away from pneumonia last July at age 97.
“Unbroken,” which also stars Domhnall Gleeson, Miyavi, Garrett Hedlund and Finn Wittrock, opens in theaters on Christmas Day, and was adapted for the screen from Hillenbrand’s book by Joel and Ethan Coen.