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Roger Deakins Will Shoot Angelina Jolie & Coens’ ‘Unbroken,’ Set For Late 2014 Release

Written by on July 10, 2013 

Update: The Wrap reports that This is England and 300: Rise of an Empire star Jack O’Connell has landed the lead role. Check out the original story below.

It’s rare when a cinematographer gets us more intrigued in a project than anything else, but someone like Roger Deakins will do just that. Coming off his biggest hit yet with Skyfall, the No Country For Old Men and Assassination of Jesse James director of photography has Prisoners arriving this fall and now his next film has been confirmed.

According to a press release, Deakins will shoot Unbroken, based the true story of Olympian and war hero Louis Zamperini. Directed by Angelina Jolie in her follow-up to her 2011 debut In the Land of Blood and Honey, the script was given a pass by Joel and Ethan Coen, which might hint to Deakins’ involvement. Universal Pictures have also announced it’ll open on December 25th, 2014, alongside Annie, Into the Woods and Night at the Museum 3. Check out the press release below.

Universal City, CA, July 10, 2013—Universal Pictures today announced that Unbroken, the new film directed by Angelina Jolie, will be released in North American theaters on December 25, 2014. Unbroken marks Jolie’s second turn behind the camera, after her critically acclaimed directorial debut, 2011’s Golden Globe Award-nominated In the Land of Blood and Honey.

Based on The New York Times bestselling book “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand (“Seabiscuit: An American Legend”), Unbroken is set to begin production in late September 2013. Jolie, who is joined on the project by fellow producers Matthew Baer (City by the Sea) and Erwin Stoff (The Day the Earth Stood Still), has been a fierce champion of bringing this incredible story of Louis “Louie” Zamperini’s bravery and heroism to the big screen. Joining the behind-the-scenes crew are an accomplished team, led by ten-time Oscar®-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins (Skyfall), who comes aboard as director of photography, and Jon Hutman (In the Land of Blood and Honey), who reteams with Jolie as the film’s production designer.

“I’ve had the privilege of spending a great deal of time with Louie Zamperini, who is a hero of mine, and now—I am proud to say—a dear friend,” said Jolie. “I am deeply honored to be telling his extraordinary story, and I will do my absolute best to give him the film he deserves. I am grateful to Universal for making this film a priority.”

Originally published by Random House in 2010, the book follows the incredible life story of Olympian and war hero Zamperini who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII—only to be caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp. The book has sat atop The New York Times bestseller list for more than 135 consecutive weeks and is the sixth best-selling nonfiction title ever since the list began in 1942. It was also the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year Award for Nonfiction.

The project has a long history with the studio, which first acquired the rights to tell the life story of Zamperini in 1957 and optioned the rights to Hillenbrand’s book in December 2010. Jolie was attached to direct in December 2012.

Academy Award® winners Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men) rewrote the screenplay from earlier drafts by William Nicholson (Les Misérables) and Richard LaGravenese (HBO’s Behind the Candelabra). Mick Garris and David Crockett serve as executive producers.

Are you looking forward to Jolie’s next film?

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