For those of us who have had the thrilling pleasure of reading Unbroken, author Laura Hillenbrand‘s epic follow-up to Seabiscuit, there is an unending appetite for more info about the book’s remarkable real-life protagonist Louis Zamperini. Today, that desire can be satiated thanks to Daily Breeze reporter Donna Littlejohn.
Torrance native Zamperini, who lives in the Hollywood Hills, celebrated his 96th birthday last weekend and on Tuesday was honored with the dedication of a hometown sign for an airport bearing his name. At the corner of PCH and a street also named after the World War II survivor and one-time Olympian.
The notion of making a movie about Zamperini’s incredible life story has been kicking around Hollywood for more than a half-century, with Tony Curtis initially envisioned for an adaptation of Zamperini’s 1956 autobiography and more recently Nicolas Cage. Now, thanks to Hillenbrand’s pedigree and barn-burning narrative, there’s a new and most unlikely star attached:
Angelina Jolie, who could not be reached for an interview, beat out several others vying for director rights and is said to be passionate about the project.
“Angelina read Unbroken through once and when she finished the last page, she turned back to the first page and read through it a second time,” Zamperini said. “She and [fiancé] Brad Pitt came [to the house] and spent a couple hours. She’s real sweet, she gave me a couple of hugs. She’s really gung-ho on this.”
Tons more great stuff in Littlejohn’s article, including a look at Hillenbrand’s working process for Unbroken and how it led to her only meeting Zamperini in person last year. Read/bookmark the Daily Breeze article here.
[Jacket cover courtesy: Random House]