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Angelina Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’ Set to Shoot in Oz

Weakening Aussie dollar increases attraction of 'Down Under' destinations

HONG KONG — Universal Pictures’ “Unbroken,” which marks Angelina Jolie’s second outing as director, will shoot in Australia.

The film will lense in New South Wales and Queensland, it was announced by the location attraction agencies of both states. The film will make use of the Village Roadshow studios and water tank in Gold Coast, Queensland. New South Wales said that it expects some of the post-production and visual effects work to be done in Sydney.

Both states are expected to contribute financially to the picture.

“The film was attracted to Queensland under Screen Queensland’s Production Incentive program,” said Queensland’s Arts Minister Ian Walker in a statement. “Securing production of ‘Unbroken’ in NSW will inject millions of dollars into the State’s economy and is expected to create more than 300 jobs for NSW-based crew alone, and more for cast and extras,” said NSW, Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade & Investment Andrew Stoner.

The pic is based on the Laura Hillenbrand book “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” that follows the true story of Lou Zamperini who was a Los Angeles high school track star who raced in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. In 1943, his Air Force plane crashed in the Pacific. He survived without food and water for 47 days, enduring shark attacks, aerial attacks and hunger before washing ashore on a Japanese island behind enemy lines, where he was held as a prisoner of war for two years and tortured by his captors.

The Coen brothers are giving the screenplay a final polish.

Cast announced so far includes Jack O’Connell (“300: Rise of an Empire”) as Zamperini, Garrett Hedlund (“TRON: Legacy”), Domhnall Gleeson (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”) and Finn Wittrock (“All My Children”.)

Production is expected to start in the second half of October, though it has not yet been finalized. Queensland reported Universal as having set Dec. 25, 2014 as a stateside release date.

Jolie, Matthew Baer, Erwin Stoff and Clayton Townsend will produce. Mick Garris will serve as executive producer. Jolie previously directed the Bosnia-set “In The Land of Blood and Honey.”

“Unbroken” is not the only ‘runaway production’ heading to Oz. Bill Mechanic’s long-gestating fantasy film “The Moon And The Sun” is finally set to start shooting from April 2014 in Victoria, Australia. The $40 million picture will be directed by Sean McNamara and star Pierce Brosnan, Bill Nighy and China’s Fan Bingbing.

After a fallow period for attracting overseas films the Australian industry has recently been boosted by the weakening of the Australian currency compared with the US dollar. Although still at historically high levels, the Aussie dollar’s drop below parity has once again made the country’s film industry a competitive overseas destination.

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