Zamperini - who died on July 2 at the age of 97 - is played by Jack O'Connell with newcomer C.J. Valloy as Louis when he was a boy. Garret Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson and Jai Courteny costar as fellow captives, his buddies who we see forced by the Japanese to pummel Zamperini in turn. Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the script based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand but it's not the only Louis Zamperini story out there. According to the LA Times, Zamperini's own memoir The Devil at My Heels was optioned by Universal in 1956 with Tony Curtis 'penciled in' to star. Except Curtis went on to do Spartacus instead, and Zamperini's story was left in the dust.
This time around the stars are aligned. Truly. Jolie has gathered top names in their fields, stars in their area of expertise, if you will. Besides the Coen brothers (Fargo, No Country for Old Men), Jolie had the acclaimed Roger Deakins (The Shawshank Redemption, Skyfall, Revolutionary Road, Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, Doubt, Oh Brother Where are You? Prisoners) - considered by many to be the best cinematographer working today - as her director of photography and hired on the marvelous Monsieur Alexandre Desplat who has given us scores of heart-swelling music before ala The Grand Budapest Hotel, Philomena, Benjamin Buttons, Argo, The Fantastic Mr. Fox and so many more, to score the soundtrack.
Let's watch the trailer.