Angelina Jolie, best known for her Oscar-winning acting, is to follow up her 2011 directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey by helming Unbroken, a drama set during World War Two. Based on a book by Laura Hillenbrand, the film will follow the story of Louie Zamperini, who survives a plane crash by living on a raft for 47 days, before being picked up by the Japanese navy and sent to a POW camp.
With her second film underway, it looks as though Jolie’s directorial taste is developing in a very singular direction. Her first effort In the Land of Blood and Honey is a complex love story between a Serbian and a Bosnian set during the Bosnian war, while Unbroken also looks set to be a pretty harrowing war narrative. Her choice of features also reflects Jolie’s personal commitment to international charities, specifically those dealing with refugees.
Of her interest in directing Unbroken, Jolie has said:
‘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 honoured to have the chance to tell his inspiring story.’
Impressed by the fact that the director has not chosen to go for softer material after experiencing numerous problems during the making of her first film (Jolie was accused of bias and plagiarism, and the film was subject to protests from women’s groups who had been wrongly informed that the film concerned a Bosnian woman falling for her Serbian rapist) critics are cautiously hopeful that Unbroken will turn out to be a decent chunk of cinema, in spite of the generally lukewarm reviews for In the Land of Blood and Honey.
Unbroken is still in development, but it looks like production will begin in 2013.