Angelina Jolie will be heading to the Gold Coast to film Unbroken, her Universal Pictures adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand's bestselling novel Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption, it has been confirmed.
The true story concerns Olympian turned war hero Louis Zamperini, who survived a plane crash and then spent 47 days on a raft with two other crewmen until they were captured by the Japanese Navy and became POWs.
British actor Jack O'Connell (The Is England, Harry Brown) will play Zamperini in the film, while Garrett Hedlund (On the Road, Inside Llewyn Davies), Domhnall Gleeson (Anna Karenina) and Finn Wittrock (Winter's Tale) will feature in other roles.
Chair of Gold Coast City Council's Economic Development and Tourism Committee, Jan Grew considers good word-of-mouth, the facilities at Village Roadshow Studios and the surrounding Queensland location to be major factors in attracting the production.
“The studios are fantastic and include the largest water tank in the Southern Hemisphere. It's also a very film-friendly location and we've always had tremendous feedback from many of the other films productions that have been shot here,” says Grew, who sits on the board of directors for Screen Queensland. The agency's Production Incentive Program, along with Gold Coast City Council's Investment Attraction Program, played a pivotal role in securing the production.
“This will create over a hundred jobs for local crews and will send a great message back to Hollywood that the Gold Coast is such a fantastic place to film and a great location to be at,” she says. “This is certainly a time when we need more film production so hopefully this will be the start of more filming here.”
Unbroken is the second feature film actress Angelina Jolie has directed following 2011's war drama In the Land of Blood and Honey. Jolie also directed the 2007 experimental documentary A Place in Time, which coordinated numerous film crews from around the world to simultaneously shoot footage in a bid to illustrate how closely people are connected.
Unbroken is expected to start shooting in the next couple of months.