Angelina Jolie casts Skins star Jack O'Connell in new movie Unbroken

British actor lands lead role in tale of world-war-two veteran adapted for big screen by Jolie and Coen brothers

Skins star Jack O'Connell has signed on for the lead role in Angelina Jolie's new film Unbroken.

Based on a screenplay which has been rewritten by Oscar-winning film-makers Joel and Ethan Coen, Jolie's second movie as director follows the story of real-life American second-world-war hero Louis Zamperini. It is based on Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand's 2010 novel Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.

Zamperini, a one-time Olympic track star, made headlines after surviving for 47 days without food or water when his US airforce plane crash-landed in the Pacific in 1943. Having endured shark attacks, aerial assaults and extreme hunger, he was eventually picked up by the Japanese after coming ashore on an island behind enemy lines. Zamperini's captors imprisoned him for two years, during which time he was tortured. He survived the ordeal and now lives in Hollywood. He is 96.

O'Connell, 22, is best known for his portrayal of chaotic teenager James Cook in the long-running Bristol-set Channel 4 drama, which is currently airing its final series. He will also be seen as Calisto in comic-book sequel 300: Rise of an Empire next year.

Jolie is producing as well as directing Unbroken, which is also due for release in 2014.


Ben Child

The GuardianTramp

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