Angelina Jolie surprised exhibitors by her appearance at CinemaCon on Tuesday, March 25, at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to promote her upcoming film "Unbroken."
According to a report by Los Angeles Times, Universal Studios purchased the rights to the story of Louis Zamperini, a World War II prisoner of war survivor, way back in 1957. Initially, the studio planned to develop the story as a star-vehicle for Tony Curtis. However, due to some reasons, it didn't push through. The studio's interest about the story was revived when Laura Hillenbrand's 2010book about Zamperini became a bestseller.
Universal Studios Chairman Donna Langley said that it was Jolie who made the movie happen. "She fought for it and earned the right to direct it," she said.
"I wanted to make this film because in the end, its message is one we all need now more than ever," Jolie said.
"It's the journey of a man finding his way through the darkness and into the light. It is about an imperfect person - one who we and our children can relate to," the 38-year-old actress added.
The biographical movie will star 23-year-old actor Jack O'Connell as Zamperini. The plot will cover Zamperini's life as an Olympic runner and an Army pilot until he was detained by the Japanese during the World War II.
Zamperini who is already 97 and currently resides in Los Angeles was described by Jolie as the "toughest man [she's] ever met," a "true hero" and a "man of faith."
The never-before-seen clip from the film was shown to the crowd of movie theater owners. In the footage, the protagonist of the film has become a prisoner overseas. He is shown being battered several times by Japanese soldiers, and even by his American fellow troopers. There is also a moment in the teaser where Zamperini is submerged underwater while trying to break free from a plane crash.
"Unbroken" is set to be released in the US on Christmas Day.