Unbroken spirit of human endurance
HOLLYWOOD power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie each releasing a wartime film within months of each other was pure coincidence, according to Unbroken producer Matthew Baer.
While Pitt’s World War II set Fury has been released and enjoyed moderate box office and critical success, all eyes are now on Jolie, whose highly touted directing debut in the World War II tale
Unbroken (partly filmed in Australia) is to hit Australian cinemas this week.
Baer said the timing was not co-ordinated.
“That was a total coincidence; I have been trying to get Unbroken made for 17 years,” he said.
“But I don’t view Unbroken as a war film; it is about the relationship between brothers, a troubled kid who had a brother who believed in him. “It shares more of a parallel with 12 Years a Slave or Rocky.”
Unbroken follows the harrowing story of Olympian Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell) who survived 47 days stranded in a raft at sea after a plane crash, only to be found by the Japanese
Navy and held as a prisoner in harsh conditions.
Baer said Jolie had felt a connection with the script and source material, Laura Hillenbrand book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.
“And when a director comes on board, they have their own set of standards and what they want, so she brought on the Coen brothers to help with the script.”
Baer chuckled when a previous film he produced, 2003 comedy View from
the Top starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Mike Myers, was mentioned.
“View from the Top is the furthest thing from Unbroken,” he said.
“There is no comparison there; the only direction I headed in was trying to make a good film.”
Unbroken is in cinemas January 15.
Angelina Jolie directing on the set of Unbroken.