Faith-Based 'Unbroken' Sequel in the Works

Unbroken Still 1 - H 2014
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Unbroken Still 1 - H 2014

'Unbroken: Path to Redemption' will be directed by Harold Cronk and distributed by Pure Flix.

Unbroken, the movie about tortured World War II veteran Louis Zamperini, is getting a sequel that will explore the difficulty that the Olympian-turned-POW had in his private life after coming home.

The sequel, dubbed Unbroken: Path to Redemption, will be produced by Matt Baer, who produced Unbroken in 2014. That film, directed by Angelina Jolie, made $165 million worldwide.

At the time, some Christians took issue with Jolie's version because it ignored the last third or so of Laura Hillenbrand's 2010 book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, where Zamperini, an alcoholic suffering from PTSD (before there even was such a term) turns to Jesus Christ for salvation after listening to sermons from Billy Graham.

Universal addressed the issue with a "Legacy of Faith" version of Unbroken on DVD that included 90 minutes of extra content for Christians, but some still clamored for an entire sequel, which they'll now be getting.

"The biggest criticism we got was from people in the faith-based community who read the book and said, 'Well, it left out the whole Billy Graham scene,'" Zamperini's son, Luke, told The Hollywood Reporter after Universal announced the Legacy of Faith DVD in 2015.

Unbroken: Path to Redemption will be directed by Harold Cronk, best known for having directed God's Not Dead and its sequel, and distribution will be handled by Pure Flix, the company that distributed the God's Not Dead films.

Universal 1440 Entertainment, the production entity of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, will team with WTA Group to produce the movie. WTA, a faith-based marketing and financing firm, has perviously worked with the Kendrick brothers on War Room and with Sony/Affirm Films on Miracles From Heaven.

Will Graham is playing his own grandfather, Billy Graham, in the film, while Samuel Hunt (Chicago P.D.) portrays Zamperini and Merritt Patterson (The Royals) plays his wife, Cynthia.

Zamperini was an Olympic runner who was shot down over the Pacific Ocean during World War II and spent 47 days floating on a rickety raft. Barely surviving that ordeal, he was then captured by the Japanese and spent two years of torture in a prison camp.

"Zamperini's story in World War II is well known from Unbroken the book and film, but the details of his post-war struggles and ultimate redemption are so stirring, they deserve to be told in a stand-alone project," said Baer.