Angelina Jolie Confirmed to Direct 'Unbroken' in Australia

Angelina Jolie at D23 H

Universal's Louis Zamperini biopic will shoot in locations in Queensland and New South Wales starting in late October for a Christmas 2014 release.

SYDNEY -- Angelina Jolie will direct Unbroken in the Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland, it was confirmed Tuesday, with the shoot based at Sydney’s Fox Studios Australia and Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast and set to start filming Oct. 21.

Jolie visited both states in early September, finalizing locations for the World War II-set biopic of U.S. Olympian and war hero Louis Zamperini. It will shoot in Sydney, regional locations in NSW and at Village Roadshow Studios and its water tank on the Gold Coast. It's also expected that some of the visual effects work will be done by NSW companies.

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NSW deputy premier Andrew Stoner and Queensland arts minister Ian Walker confirmed the details, including that the film qualifies for Screen Queensland's Production Incentive program, among others.

Unbroken is the sophomore feature for Jolie as a director after 2010’s In The Land of Blood and Honey. It follows the life story of Zamperini, who, along with two other crewmen, survived on a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash during WWII, only to be captured by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

Confirmed in the cast are Jack O'Connell as Zamperini, Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson, Finn Wittrock and Alex Russell. Jolie is producing with Matthew Baer and Erwin Stoff.

“Securing production of Unbroken in NSW will inject millions of dollars into the State’s economy and is expected to create more than 300 jobs for NSW-based crew alone and more for cast and extras,” Stoner said.

Stoner said that Screen NSW had worked hard to bring the production to the state against strong competition from other possible locations around the world. 

"'Securing this production for NSW demonstrates the competitiveness of doing business here,” he said. “It puts a global spotlight on NSW and on the strength of our digital economy -- from smart networks and intelligent technologies to digital animation, visual effects, live action filming and interactive content. This will be a great boost for our digital economy and creative industries, as well as our international reputation."

"We are thrilled to be welcoming Angelina Jolie's film Unbroken to Queensland,'' added Screen Queensland COO Jennie Hughes. "It will create a substantial amount of jobs for the film and television industry in Queensland, putting the business back in show business.''

Universal Pictures has scheduled the film for release in the U.S. on Christmas Day 2014.