If you’re wondering why you haven’t seen Angelina Jolie’s lovely statuesque figure onscreen lately, it’s partly because she’s a busy mother and globe-trotting humanitarian, but it’s also because she’s begun to transition into directing in recent years, taking her talents behind the camera.
It’s difficult to call anything Jolie does a complete failure, but her debut feature as a director – In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011) – was far from successful. The war-time romance received mixed reviews and ended up losing money, but things are already looking up regarding Jolie’s second feature, Unbroken, as the project has landed one of Hollywood’s premier writing duos, the Coen brothers.
According to THR, the multiple Oscar-winning writing team of Joel and Ethan Coen has been tapped to rework an existing version of the Unbroken script, which is an adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 book of the same name. William Nicholson (Les Miserables) and Richard LaGravenese (Beautiful Creatures) had been penning drafts of the screenplay before Jolie replaced the project’s original director Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) in December, and sources say she was quick to search for new writers, but looked for three weeks before landing the Coens.
And what a nice score they are for a young and inexperienced director such as Jolie. The Coen brothers are often regarded as the best screenwriters of their generation after having been nominated for five Academy Awards in screenwriting categories in their careers. Out of those nominations, they won statues for Fargo (1996) and No Country for Old Men (2007), while taking home a Best Director and Best Picture Oscar for the latter.
Jolie’s film will certainly benefit from a strong script, which in itself will benefit from a powerful (bestselling) story and it seems Jolie has that as well with Unbroken, which chronicles the story of real-life World War II hero and Olympic distance runner, Lou Zamperini. However, the film will likely focus on the most trying times of his life – the two-year period in which he was held by the Japanese as a POW and tortured by his captors.
Even though Jolie hasn’t shot anything yet, her choices and the talent she is starting to surround herself with should make Unbroken a much more interesting and anticipated film. The Coen brothers climbing onboard certainly says a lot, as they rarely tackle projects they don’t develop themselves. If they see promise, then it must be there, right?
We’ll definitely keep our eyes on Unbroken and update you as the project continues to take shape.