Archive for the ‘Unbroken’ Category

Joel and Ethan Coen to rewrite ‘Unbroken’ for Angelina Jolie

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Joel and Ethan CoenLast year, Angelina Jolie signed to direct Unbroken for Universal and Walden Media.  Now the Coen brothers have been tapped to rewrite Unbroken, the adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 book — which has been trying to mount a Louis Zamperini story in some form or fashion for decades.

After Jolie signed in December, she spent weeks searching for the right writers for the job, and wanted only top-flight talent.  William Nicholson and Richard LaGravenese worked on previous drafts pre-Jolie.

Louis Zamperini was a Los Angeles high school track star who raced in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. In 1943, his Air Force plane crashed in the Pacific. He survived without food and water for 47 days, enduring shark attacks, aerial attacks and hunger before washing ashore on a Japanese island behind enemy lines, where he was held as a prisoner of war for two years and tortured by his captors.

Jolie is producing with Matthew Baer and Erwin Stoff. Walden Media will co-finance.

Among the top screenwriters in town, the Coens have been nominated five times for Academy Awards in the writing category, winning for No Country for Old Men and Fargo. The brothers usually direct and produce what they write, but they take on assignments in rare cases.

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Angelina Jolie to direct Unbroken for Walden Media and Universal Pictures

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Angelina JolieAngelina Jolie is in talks to direct the World War II drama Unbroken for Universal Pictures and Walden Media.

The film is an adaptation of the 2010 book by Laura Hillenbrand (Seabiscuit: An American Legend) and tells the story of Olympic athlete and Air Force officer Louis Zamperini, who survived a plane crash during World War II and clung to life on a raft for 47 days. He was captured by the Japanese and served hard time in a POW camp.

Hillenbrand’s book spent 108 on the New York Times best-seller list, including 14 weeks at No. 1.

“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 news was announced by Universal Pictures chairman Adam Fogelson and co-chairman Donna Langley and Walden Media CEO Michael Bostick.

“In her life and in her work, Angelina has embraced stories and causes involving great struggle and triumph over tremendous odds and the basic human condition,” said Fogelson and Langley in a joint statement. “She has a real ability to illustrate the strength in human spirit which will be essential in telling Lou’s story of survival and great heroism.”

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Walden Media to Co-Finance World War II film ‘Unbroken’

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Walden Media has just signed on to co-finance with Universal Pictures the screen adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s bestseller Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and RedemptionThe Water for Elephants team of screenwriter Richard LaGravenese and director Francis Lawrence are prepping the story about the unbreakable spirit of Louis Zamperini, the former Olympic track prodigy who endured unimaginable hardship as a WWII POW at the hands of Japanese prison guards.

This is a story that Universal Pictures has wanted to make since they bought the rights to the story more than 54 years ago.  Tony Curtis had planned on playing the role of Louis Zamperini after he completed work on Spartacus.

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