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.
Hedlund would play the leader of the prisoners at the camp where Zamperini is being held.
Roger Deakins has also come on as the film’s cinematographer. Universal’s vice president of production Kristin Lowe and creative executive Sara Scott will oversee the project for the studio.
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Hedlund has long been interested in the story of Zamperini and wanted to be involved in the project. Sources say the role of Fitzgerald fits him perfectly.
The WME and Brillstein Entertainment-repped Hedlund is attached the indie thriller “Violent Talent” and can be seen next in the Coens’ pic “Inside Llewyn Davis.” He is filming the action pic “Mojave.”