Angelina Jolie Set to Direct Second World War Drama

Angelina Jolie in Salt

As Ang Lee's Life of Pi opens in the UK, news emerges of another man/raft/ocean film in the works. Unbroken is based on real-life story of Olympian and air force officer Louis Zamperini, who survived on a raft for 47 days after a plane crash during the second world war and later was captured by the Japanese and spent many years in brutal POW camps.

An adaptation of the 2010 New York Times bestseller of the same name by Laura Hillenbrand (who also wrote Seabiscuit), the film will be produced by Universal Studios.

William Nicholson (Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Gladiator, Les Miserables) has adapted the book, with Angelina Jolie poised to make it her second outing as a director, following Bosnian rape drama In the Land of Blood and Honey. "I read Laura Hillenbrand's brilliant book," said Jolie, "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."

No casting decisions have yet been made. Zamperini, who turns 96 in January, competed in the 1936 Berlin olympics. He finished eighth in the 5,000 meter distance event, and met Adolf Hitler.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Catherine Shoard, for guardian.co.uk on Thursday 20th December 2012 12.32 Europe/London

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