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Universal picks up rights to “Seabiscuit” author’s WWII novel

James Wallace

by: James Wallace
January 4th, 2011

Universal has been trying to bring the story of Louis Zamperini to the silver screen for 50 years, having picked up the rights to the man's story in 1957 with everyone from Tony Curtis to Nicolas Cage set to play the real life Olympic track star turned WWII prisoner of war over the years. With the studio's recent purchase of the screen rights to author Laura Hillenbrand's bestselling book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption - which recounts Zamperini's inspirational story amidst his trials & tribulations - they may be closer than ever.

Director Francis Lawrence (I AM LEGEND) is currently in talks to direct the project for Universal, with hopes that CRAZY HEART writer/director will pen the screenplay.

If you are familiar with this man's story, then you understand why Universal has wanted to get it made so desperately for so long. Zamperini ran in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin and was so fast that it earned him a personal meeting with Adolf Hitler, only to serve in WWII fighting for the US against Hitler's forces where his plane was downed, resulting in him being stranded in the ocean for 47 days resulting in his capture by the Japanese Navy who held him captive for two years until the war ended.

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