Jolie surprises CinemaCon to tout 'Unbroken'
Angelina Jolie, director of the upcoming film "Unbroken," makes a surprise appearance onstage to introduce a trailer for the film during a Universal Pictures studio presentation at CinemaCon 2014 on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Angelina Jolie took to the stage at CinemaCon, the annual convention of theater exhibitors, on Tuesday to reveal footage from the upcoming survival saga "Unbroken," which she directed and produced.
"I wanted to make this film because its message is one that we all need now more than ever," said Jolie in front of the crowd of theater owners at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Shot in Sydney last year, the film tells the true story of Lou Zamperini, a World War II hero and track star who ran in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Zamperini, who is played by Jack O'Connell, spent a harrowing 47 days afloat in the Pacific Ocean following the 1943 crash of his U.S. military plane. He spent the following two years as a prisoner of war after washing up behind Japanese enemy lines.
Angelina Jolie, director of the upcoming film "Unbroken," makes a surprise appearance onstage during a Universal Pictures studio presentation at CinemaCon 2014 on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Developed originally by Universal Pictures in 1957, the biopic was supposed to star Tony Curtis, said Universal chairwoman Donna Langley before introducing Jolie. But after many false starts, the project never took shape. It wasn't until Zamperini's story caught the attention of Jolie, that the film really began to evolve.
"She fought for it and earned the right to direct it," said Langley, who called Jolie "a true filmmaker."
"Unbroken," to be released in December, is based on Laura Hillenbrand's book "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption," which chronicles Zamperini's life.