Rising stars Domhnall Gleeson (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”) and Finn Wittrock (“All My Children”) will join fellow up-and-comer Jack O’Connell in Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken,” individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.
Universal Pictures is backing the adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s bestselling book about the incredible true story of American track star Louis Zamperini.
O’Connell (“300: Rise of an Empire”) will play Zamperini, who survived a plane crash and a harrowing oceanic ordeal only to become a POW who was tortured in a Japanese prison camp during WWII.
Gleeson and Wittrock will play Phil and Mac, both of whom are stranded at sea with Louie on a life raft for 28 days when their plane is gunned down.
Jolie is producing with Matthew Baer, Erwin Stoff and Clayton Townsend, while Mick Garris will executive produce. Joel and Ethan Coen did the latest pass on the script, earlier drafts of which were written by William Nicholson and Richard LaGravenese.
Universal execs Kristin Lowe and Sara Scott are overseeing “Unbroken” for the studio, whose Donna Langley and Peter Cramer championed the long-gestating project. Universal has had Zamperini’s life rights since 1957.
Production starts this fall, as the Zamperini tale runs into theaters on Christmas Day 2014 alongside musicals “Into the Woods” and “Annie.”
Gleeson next stars opposite Rachel McAdams in Richard Curtis’ romantic comedy “About Time,” which Universal will release Nov. 1. He recently wrapped the indie movie “Frank” with Michael Fassbender and is currently filming Alex Garland’s “Ex Machina” with Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander.
Wittrock, who is best known for playing Damon Miller on the soap opera “All My Children,” recently wrapped Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” and Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut “Winter’s Tale.” The Juilliard graduate made his Broadway debut last year as Happy Loman in Mike Nichols’ revival of “Death of a Salesman” and will soon be seen in Ryan Murphy’s HBO movie “The Normal Heart” and Showtime’s “Masters of Sex.”
Gleeson is repped by Paradigm and The Agency in Ireland, while Wittrock is repped by ICM Partners and Weissenbach Management.