Angelina Jolie Gets Unbroken

In talks to direct first studio picture

While the rest of us are wrapping things and trying to figure out which one of the fairy lights is up the wazoo this time, Saint Angelina of Jolie is hard at work with movie business. She's probably got wrapping to do too, but it will have to wait until she's finished poring over the small print on Unbroken, her next project as director. Sorry, Shiloh.

The movie, her second directorial gig after Bosnian war drama In The Land Of Blood And Honey and her first with a major studio, is based on a New York Times bestseller by Seabiscuit writer Laura Hillenbrand. The story of 1936 Olympian Louis Zamperini, 'Unbroken: A World War II Story Of Survival, Resilience, And Redemption' is the story of the wartime aviator's survival after being shot down over the Pacific. It features bombers, crashes, 47 days afloat on a raft, sharks, death-defying feats, strafings and Japanese POW camps. Life Of Kwai, we're calling it.

"I read Laura Hillenbrand's brilliant book", explained Jolie, "and I was so moved by Louie Zamperini's heroic story, I immediately began to fight for the opportunity to make this film. Louie is a true hero and a man of immense humanity, faith and courage. I am deeply honored to have the chance to tell his inspiring story.”

William Nicholson, a screenwriter who knows all about long journeys home with Gladiator on his CV, has been busy nuggeting out the latest version of the script. Next time we see Jolie on screen it will be in the vampish guise of Maleficent.