Universal Pictures has acquired the rights to Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption. The book tells the true story of Louis Zamperini.
Zamperini joined his high school track team after a history of getting into street fights, and became a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 1936. Although he didn't win any medals at the games, he impressed Adolf Hitler with his performance. He joined the Air Force in World War II as a bombadier and, after several successful missions, his plane crashed and he spent 47 days lost at sea before the Japanese Navy rescued him, only to place Zamperini in a POW camp where he was tortured.
Francis Lawrence is in talks to direct with Scott Cooper on a short list to adapt Hillenbrand's book. Universal has been trying to tell Zamperini's story for decades, with Tony Curtis once in contention to star in a project based on Zamperini's own autobiography. Brad Pitt and Nicolas Cage have also tried to produce a version of Zamperini's story in more recent years.
Matthew Baer and Erwin Stoff will produce, with Mick Garris, Zamperini's actual son-in-law, attached as executive producer. Universal also produced an adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand's first book, Seabiscuit.