The story of Louis Zamperini is the kind that should make Hollywood’s biggest names drool with visions of swimming in pools filled with Oscar statues. He’s an Olympic athlete who shook hands with Hitler and supposedly stole der Fuhrer’s personal flag. While he wasn’t a gold medal winner in Berlin, he was the All-American boy who came from meager beginnings and eventually set a world record in college, before he enlisted in WWII and went off to fight for his country. Zamperini was one of only three men who survived a plane crash in the war, and he and the other two soldiers lived on a raft for 47 days in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, only to be captured by the Japanese and subjected to torture and inhumane conditions in a POW camp for several years.
Later in life, he’d become a born-again Christian and travel to Japan to meet with some of the soldiers who tortured him so he could personally forgive them. He even tried to reach out to the infamous Mutsuhiro Watanabe to forgive him as well, but he declined the meeting because once a dick, always a dick. Regardless, Zamperini’s story is incredible, and now director Angelina Jolie is bringing it to the big screen in Unbroken with newcomer Jack O’Connell starring as Zamperini, and a screenplay that was rewritten by Joel and Ethan Cohen.
And if simple words aren’t enough to drive home how amazing of a story this is, here’s the new 3-minute trailer for Unbroken that features narration by Tom Brokaw and Zamperini himself offering some insight. Unbroken’s Oscar campaign goes public on Christmas Day.