Directing Again: Angelina's 'Unbroken' Bow

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Unbroken, Angelina Jolie's sophomore directorial effort following her Golden Globe-nominated In the Land of Blood and Honey, has a big distributor, a release date -- and a lead.

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Universal Pictures will release the World War II-era drama in North American theaters on Christmas Day, 2014, and, according to The Wrap, British Skins star Jack O'Connell will play the lead role.

Based on Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand's New York Times bestseller Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, the film tells the incredible life story of Olympian and war hero Louis "Louie" Zamperini who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash during the Second World War, only to be caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

"I’ve had the privilege of spending a great deal of time with Louie Zamperini, who is a hero of mine, and now -- I am proud to say -- a dear friend," says Angelina. "I am deeply honored to be telling his extraordinary story, and I will do my absolute best to give him the film he deserves. I am grateful to Universal for making this film a priority."

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With a script rewritten by Oscar winners Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men), Unbroken is set to begin production in late September.