The first trailer for Angelina Jolie’s new film Unbroken landed earlier this week and it certainly gets the thumbs up from all of us here at Janes!

Angelina Jolie Unbroken

The movie recounts the real life story of Louis Zamperini, a World War II hero and Olympic athlete, who sadly passed away earlier this month at the age of 97.

For those not familiar to Louis Zamperini, without wanting to give away the entire plot of the film, Unbroken essentially follows a chronological story of his life, from boyhood to adulthood. Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 non-fiction book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption was used by Jolie as inspiration.

At a young age, Zamperini got in a lot of trouble at school forcefully defending himself against bullies, so to counteract this, his older brother Pete got him involved in the school track team. His raw talent led to him gaining a scholarship at the University of Southern California and eventually a place on the 1936 United States Olympic team in the 5000 meters.

In 1941, Zamperini enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces as a bombardier. Whilst searching for airmen and crew from a fallen plane, mechanical difficulties caused their own to crash into the ocean. After 47 days of floating on a raft with barely any food or water, the two survivors, including Zamperini, reached land in the Marshall Islands and were immediately captured by the Japanese Navy. Louis was then sent to a prisoner-of-war camp at Ōfuna and here proved his uttermost resilience against the prison guards.

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The cast of the film, including Garrett Hedlund, Jai Courtney, and Domhnall Gleeson are relatively unknown. Jack O’Connell, recognized predominantly for playing Pukey Nicholls in This Is England, takes on the leading role as Louis Zamperini. Initially Universal Studios was looking for a more established name to take the part, such as Aaron Taylor-Johnson or Joseph Gordon Levitt, but with budgetary issues, they decided to opt for screen testing and O’Connell became the frontrunner.

Unbroken will be Jolie’s second feature in the director’s chair, after 2011’s Bosnian war drama In the Land of Blood and Honey. She spent a great deal of time with Louis Zamperini prior to his death and said: “I am deeply honoured to be telling his extraordinary story, and I will do my absolute best to give him the film he deserves.”

From the first glimpse of the film in the trailer, it seems like Jolie will uphold her promise, yet if nothing else, it will be a beautiful tribute to the life of Louis Zamperini.

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Watch the trailer below…

Unbroken is released in cinemas Christmas 2014

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