Dev Patel, Kaya Scoledario and Nicholas Hoult can all thank BBC‘s “Skins“ for their career breakthroughs, and now Jack O’Connell can do the same. He’s touted for a part in next year’s sequel “300: Rise Of An Empire,” but it looks like he’s already making the leap to an awards season player.
The actor has landed the lead role in Angelina Jolie‘s sophomore directorial effort “Unbroken.” Based on a true story, O’Connell beat out Dane DeHaan and some dude named Alexander Dreymon to play Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian who endured medical experiments, slave labor, and brutal beatings as a Japanese POW during WWII. He became the target of one sadistic guard in particular, Mutsuhiro Watanabe, whose goal it was to break Zamperini. He endured his harsh punishment right though until the end of the war, but later suffered terrifying nightmares and alcoholism, but on the verge of losing everything, he found God and forgave his captors.
Sounds like meaty, Oscar sizzle reel stuff, and Universal thinks so too, as they’ve booked the movie to hit theatres on December 25, 2014. [The Wrap]