Unbroken, Angelina Jolie’s second directorial undertaking (following In the Land of Blood and Honey), tells the true-to-life survival story of Olympic runner-turned-pilot, Louis Zamperini, who was shot down over the Pacific during WWII, forced to endure several weeks stranded at sea, and later tortured by enemy forces upon his washing up on Japanese shores. Though Universal appears to be weary of releasing too much promotional material for a film which isn’t being released until December of next year, a few rather compelling production photos recently surfaced, depicting Jolie’s orchestrating efforts on set in Australia.
The only prior photos related to the filming of Unbroken were of Jolie and the actual Louis Zamperini himself. The latest set of pics, though, focus more on the production process – they include images of Jolie giving instruction to her actors as they float on a tattered raft, the director attentively viewing multiple monitors as the action takes place, etc.
Though there have been a number of stabs at creating a movie centering on Zamperini’s riveting wartime account in the past, none have had the luxury of acquiring the type of top-notch creative personnel that surrounds this latest attempt. In addition to Jolie at the helm, award-winning cinematographer Rodger Deakins (Skyfall, No Country for Old Men, The Shawshank Redemption) will be behind the camera. Furthermore, Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit, The Big Lebowski, Fargo), as well as Richard LaGravenese (P.S. I love You, Paris, je t’aime, Beautiful Creatures) and William Nicholson (Gladiator, Les Miserables, First Knight) combined to write the script, which will be acted out by Jack O’Connell (Eden Lake, This is England), Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, About Time) and Finn Wittrock (Noah, Twelve).
A portion of the text which Universal released with the pictures reads as follows:
Director Jolie began shooting some of the most dramatic and challenging scenes on Wednesday, October 16, on location far out at sea in Moreton Bay, Australia, with Zamperini (O’Connell) and his fellow airmen – Phil (Domhnall Gleeson) and Mac (Finn Wittrock) – having impossibly survived being adrift in the open Pacific for several weeks… Working with cameras on a floating rig in choppy waters and braving the elements, with actors dieting for months to appear as depleted as their characters, Jolie completed a successful first day of a location shoot that promises to be rigorous and uniquely challenging.
According to Universal, the film will be produced by Jolie, Matthew Baer, Erwin Stoff and Clayton Townsend.