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Angelina Jolie dipped her toes into the directing pool for 2011’s In the Land of Blood and Honey, a harrowing love story between a Bosnian and a Serbian set during times of war. Though the process was grueling for Jolie (for various reasons), like most directors, once she got a taste for filmmaking, she’s unable to stop … and her latest project is starting to take shape.
It’s also comforting, if that’s the right word, to hear that Jolie isn’t going after softer material with her sophomore effort. Universal Pictures announced that she will helm Unbroken, an adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s book about a near-impossible story of survival. Set during World War II, the narrative tracks Olympian and war hero Louis Zamperini, who struggles to survive on a raft for 47 days after a vicious plane crash. Just when you thought things couldn’t get much worse, Zamperini is picked up by the Japanese Navy … and then tossed into a prisoner of war camp.
The book spent 108 consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and has collected multiple literary awards, including Book of the Year Award for Nonfiction from the Los Angeles Times. Jolie spoke of the book, saying, “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. 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.”
Universal now just needs to lock down Jolie’s production schedule. She has nothing on the docket for 2013 in terms of movie releases, though I believe she has finished Disney’s Maleficent and can record dialogue for Kung-Fu Panda 3 in between directing tasks on Unbroken. This might pus Salt 2 further back off of her radar, but if Unbroken lives up to its promise, that’s fine.