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First Look: Angelina Jolie Is Turning This Year's Best Book Club Book Into A Movie

By Joanna Robinson | Trade News | November 1, 2013 | Comments ()


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I say “this year’s best” but, in actuality, Laura Hillenbrand’s book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption came out in November, 2010. AND IT’S STILL IN HARDCOVER. For a little perspective on how crazy popular this book has been, paperbacks come out one year after initial publication and the only time publishers break this rule is when they think a book is popular enough that you’d be willing to slap down the extra cash to get it. This money grab (can you blame the floundering publishers?) is usually reserved for juggernaut series books. Dance With Dragons? Just over two years. Catching Fire? Just under four years. Mockingjay? Still no sign. But it’s incredible that this harrowing true story of three men who, against all odds, struggled to survive for 47 days on a life raft after their WWII plane crashed into the ocean has been as popular as those of Dany and Katniss, the girls on fire.

Laura Hillenbrand, of course, wrote the fantastic book Seabiscuit and has a knack for making even the most foreign industries (horse racing? really?) fascinating. Her books read like gripping novels. So imagine how enthralling she made a life or death story like this. I loved the movie Seabiscuit but I have even higher hopes for this film, adapted by The Coen Brothers and Richard LaGravenese (Behind The Candelabra). This will be Angelina Jolie’s second time directing and her comment on the process is exactly the blend of intelligence and just a smidge of sanctimony we’ve come to expect from her. On shooting out on open waters: “On set, we started to joke and say, ‘Tomorrow will be easier,’ knowing full well that on this challenging shoot, there are no easy days. Anytime it gets tough, we think of the real men who lived through this, and no one complains. In fact, we all just feel honored to be here.”

The three young actors are relatively unknown: Domnhall Gleeson (Harry Potter, About Time), Finn Wittrock (All My Children), and Jack O’Connell (Skins). So, in case you’re counting, that two soap stars and a Weasley in a boat. Here are a few early snaps courtesy of Entertainment Weekly. The movie is slated to be released next Christmas which means you have a whole year to do the reading.

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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Mrs. Julien

    I think I read an excerpt of this in Vanity Fair. It was harrowing and compelling.

  • frank247

    That's what reading Vanity Fair was like for me...

  • Bananapanda

    This is a well written book about an amazing person - namely Louis Zamperini who is like the Forrest Gump of WWII era. I hope the movie does it justice.

  • manting

    except that it really happened. I do wonder about the life raft section. I think they killed the third guy. This book is a must read for fans of READING.

  • AvaLehra

    I can't wait to see what she does with it.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Someone's placing a lot of trust on a novice director even if she is world famous. How did she get the gig?

  • Az

    Their first choice, Jennifer Aniston, passed on the project.

  • $3647259

    Laughed so hard I choked a little (I'm fine now, I'm fine).

  • manting

    possibly by buying the rights to the story and attaching herself to direct?

  • AvaLehra

    True that. I direct short films and you know how I do it? By writing and buying screenplays to shoot.

  • Mrs. Julien

    That sounds like the winner to me.

  • AvaLehra

    Probably by doing her homework and proving herself being up to the challenge. We're all novices at everything at every point -- doesn't mean we shouldn't try or be given the chance.

  • Maguita NYC

    By proving herself worthy and capable, by taking on projects more dear to her heart and that resonate with her passion for film making.

    You know F'male, you should be celebrating women rising up to the challenge, and taking on projects that were solely reserved to men in the past. Because of women like her, and women throughout history before her that fought for you and I to be able to speak up, have jobs, equal opportunities and equal rights, you and I are not secluded to only knitting and raising children.

    I had to speak up today, because your comments more than often seem to denigrate women's efforts in gaining equal rights, and being treated with respect and dignity.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    EDIT: I see below that this clearly has nothing to do with the specific question and is part of a larger ongoing thread - I'll leave my original comment here, but allow the named parties to work it out.

    Original answer:

    This answer seems to go waaaaaay beyond the question that she asked.

    Let's do what we normally ask be done - let's replace the woman with a man, and see if the question still sounds sexist; and lets' use Daniel Raddcliffe, he's equally world famous and rich, he's clearly a capable actor, but one we don't think of as a "behind the camera" guy at this point.

    So:

    Someone's placing a lot of trust on a novice director even if he is world famous. How did he get the gig?

    I don't see it. In fact, if it were Radcliffe, I'd expect a rousing Pajiba discussion about how does one break into directing, and is it fair that star power is used to leapfrog others who pay their dues. Maybe there's something in previous comments that is leading to this, but the original question on its face is one we would (and candidly should) ask regardless of sex or orientation.

  • Maguita NYC

    Thank you Pragmatist, I appreciate your kind Edit.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I'd be very interested in seeing some of these other posts of mine that "often seem to denigrate women's efforts..."

    How has she proven herself worthy and capable after directing only one movie? And how is asking that somehow insulting?

    Excuse me, but fuck you very much. I can't remember the last time someone's sanctimonious preaching has pissed me off so much.

    As an aside, are you aware that I'm female?

  • Maguita NYC

    You have slut-shamed. You have agreed on placing the blame on victims of rape. By snide questions, you insinuate that women, like this one, do not get their jobs because of how competent they are.

    If you can't handle comebacks on your comments, maybe you shouldn't bequeath them on a world where judgment, critique or agreement are expected. We all have opposing views, and yours have been rubbing me the wrong way for a while. The cumulative of your anti-women portfolio, whether in comments on threads, in reply to other women, or in defense of sexist views, have accrued to a level of internalized misogyny that is quite repulsive.

    We all make fun of celebrities, we often slut-shame all genders equally here on Pajiba. But your disregard to women's plight and fight, while enjoying the fruits of past feminists' sacrifices so you can be free to walk the streets alone, vote, raise a child on your own without having him/her labelled a bastard, and get job opportunities that were until some 60 years ago reserved solely for men, have been insulting. And even though you often backtrack when faced with opposing factual comments on your views, you still make sure the first thing out is denigrating a woman.

    So listen well F'male Dehyde, I absolutely respect if you don't believe in Feminism, if you don't subscribe to equal rights, while profiting from them, it is your prerogative. But expect to be taken to task every time you publicly utter anything that sets women's rights backwards. Or shames them for being women and getting equal treatment.

    As for fucking me, no thank you dear. For I am neither interested in hate-fuck or otherwise with any type of misogynist, no matter their gender.

  • Bob Janke

    So prior to this movie, Angelina Jolie directed "In the Land of Blood and Honey" which had a $13 million dollar budget, and grossed $300,000 but I'm sure she's a qualified director because feminism.

  • Mrs. Julien

    [handing Maguita a fresh clip]

  • Mrs. Julien

    Maguita, I think you may have brought a gun to a knife fight.

  • Mrs. Julien

    5 6 7 8 9 downvotes? I think that might be That's a personal record. It might have been different if downvotes were possible during the snowman debacle.

  • I STILL have to read this book. It's been sitting on my shelf for over a year.

  • manting

    read it. Ditty mao!

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Mockingjay is in paperback.

    And Domnhall Gleeson just jumped to my attention last night, as I watched Anna Karenina. He's Brendan Gleeson's son. I hadn't recognized him from Harry Potter at all.

    I also saw that The Thirteenth Tale is being made into a movie - I got my roommate that book - it looks really good, and the flick will star Vanessa Redgrave.

  • idgiepug

    Mad-Eye Moody was Bill Weasley's real dad?

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Oh, Molly, what have you done?!

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I just looked him up... that sun must have been murder on his fair skin during this movie.

  • chanohack

    Sunscreen: it works!

    Signed, A Very Fair Person Who Lived In Hawaii (And Was Often Teased For Re-applying Every Two Hours, But Didn't Get Burned, Bitches)

  • JoannaRobinson

    Mockingjay is, sadly, not in paperback unless you buy it in the trilogy box set. Don't kid a bookseller, kid.

  • Dean Gorby

    What's a paperback? My Kindle doesn't have that option...

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Ah. I just knew that I read it in paperback, but I borrowed it from my sister, so she must've bought that set.

  • Untamed

    Whatever that reason @BWeaves. Stand your ground! (see what I did there?) This is a story that is so fantastic that it could only be true. I am very excited to see the film.

  • Lemon_Poundcake

    This is in my To Read pile. I might have to move it to the top if it's that good.

  • Dany was never on fire! Dragons don't burn! DO YOU EVEN PAY ATTENTION, ROBINSON?!

  • manting

    I have wondered why her hair burned off but nothing else. Why not fingernails? Eyelashes? Eyebrows?

  • BWeaves

    Nope. Won't watch it for the same reason I won't watch that one about the divers who get left behind in the middle of the ocean.

  • Target_Blonde

    Normally I have the same fears (I'm also deathly afraid of sharks) but honestly those people were so annoying I ended up cheering for the sharks at the end.

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