"As a kid, I was always in trouble. I was rotten," Louis Zamperini tells the camera with a chuckle in the first trailer for "Unbroken." This Olympic athlete turned American war hero is the subject of Angelina Jolie's new movie, which is based on Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling novel of the same name. (Hillenbrand is also the author of the book "Seabiscuit," which was turned into the 2003 awards season favorite with Tobey Maguire.)
This trailer, which premiered during the Olympics, uses an interview with the 97-year-old veteran and clips from the movie to introduce his amazing story. Zamperini went from record-breaking track star to World War II pilot, and, in turn, a prisoner of war in a Japanese interment camp. And that's after 47 days at sea.
British actor Jack O'Connell, who plays Calisto in the upcoming "300" sequel," stars as Zamperini in what will surely be a star-making turn. The film is loaded with heavyweights behind the scenes, too. Ethan and Joel Coen gave the script a polish, Alexandre Desplat composed the score, and Roger Deakins was the DP - all critical darlings and multiple award winners. Jolie made her directorial debut in narrative film with 2011's controversial "In the Land of Blood and Honey." The Bosnian war drama got mixed reviews, although it was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Golden Globes.
"Unbroken" opens next Christmas, a prime time for movies with an uplifting message.