Development continues to move forward on Angelina Jolie’s next directorial effort, and the filmmaker has started zeroing in on the actor who will tackle the film’s lead. Based on the non-fiction book by Lauren Hillenbrand, Unbroken tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian and WWII bombardier whose plane crashed at sea in 1943. Zamperini and two crewmates floated adrift for 47 days and 2000 miles, eventually finding themselves caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a POW camp where Zamperini was targeted by a sadistic overseer. The director’s chair was a highly coveted position, and Universal Pictures settled on Jolie last December.
The film gained even more prestige this past February when Joel and Ethan Coen agreed to rewrite the script, and now Jolie is reportedly looking at a trio of actors to possibly fill the young lead: Dane DeHaan (Chronicle), Alexander Dreymon (Resistance), and Jack O’Connell (Skins). Hit the jump for more.
The folks over at Deadline are hearing that DeHaan, Dreymon, and O’Connell will be screen testing to play Zamperini as a young man in the film. It’s a crucial role, as the actor will have to carry the film’s wide-ranging emotional scenes from playing Zamperini as a member of the American track team at the 1936 Munich Olympics, to playing Zamperini while stranded at sea, to finally playing him imprisoned in the POW camp. The report notes that Jolie could still widen her search list so the contenders for the role are not exclusive to DeHaan, Dremon, and O’Connell, but Jolie has already done an exhaustive amount of casting work to get to this point.
DeHaan is the best-known actor of the bunch, as he shined in the found footage superhero pic Chronicle and will appear in next year’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as Harry Osborn. The actor showed his dramatic talents earlier this year with the stellar The Place Beyond the Pines, and is poised to break out in a big way later this year opposite Daniel Radcliffe in Kill Your Darlings.
The English-born O’Connell has appeared in the British TV series Skins and The Runaway, and will be seen next year in 300: Rise of an Empire. As for Dreymon, his short resume includes the upcoming Blood Ransom.