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Garrett Hedlund Cast in Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken'

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AP/Invision

The actor's addition was more than a month in the works, though he had to work out schedule conflicts before joining the film, which is set to begin shooting in October.

Garrett Hedlund has signed on for a role in the Angelina Jolie-helmed drama Unbroken for Universal.

Jack O'Connell will star in the film about World War II hero Lou Zamperini

STORY: Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken' to Hit Theaters in December 2014

The story begins in 1943, when Zamperini's 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 will play Commander John Fitzgerald, a fellow P.O.W.

Hedlund's addition was more than a month in the works, though he had to work out schedule conflicts. The film is set to begin shooting in October.

Ethan and Joel Coen penned a recent draft of the screenplay, which is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 best-seller. Universal picked up the rights to the book in January 2011, and William Nicholson and Richard LaGravenese worked on previous drafts before Jolie took the film's reins in December. The movie is scheduled to open in December 2014.

Hedlund recently starred in the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis. Universal was interested in him to play the lead in Fifty Shades of Grey, but the actor bowed out before a formal offer was made. 

Jolie is producing Unbroken with Matthew Baer and Erwin Stoff.

Hedlund is repped by WME, Brillstein Entertainment and attorney David Weber.

E-mail: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com
Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27