Trailer Watch: Olympic Runner and WWII P.O.W. Louis Zamperini Perseveres in Angelina Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’

nullWe finally have a trailer for Unbroken, Angelina Jolie’s highly anticipated follow-up to her directorial debut, In The Land of Blood and Honey. Awards buzz has circulated around Unbroken since its announcement, and this new video will almost certainly intensify the hype for this film and its chances of taking home some trophies come Spring 2015.

Based on the true story of Olympic athlete turned prisoner-of-war Louis Zamperini, the biopic is an adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s nonfiction book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. (Fun fact: Hillenbrand also wrote the source material for Tobey Maguire’s Seabiscuit).

"My brother used to think I could do anything — that I was better than I am," narrates Zamperini (played as a young man by Jack O’Connell). We see Zamperini as a boy fighting with other children and being inspired by his brother to channel that restless energy elsewhere — running: "You train. You fight harder than those other guys, and you win. If you can take it, you can make it."

Cue Zamperini soaring through finish lines and breaking track records, but it’s only when we see footage of his time in the war that it becomes clear just how meaningful and prophetic his brother’s words are. As a soldier in World War II, the former Olympian survives a plane crash and is stranded on a raft (for 47 days!) only to be captured as a prisoner and, as the trailer brutally shows, tortured both physically and emotionally. "If you can take it, you can make it" — the trailer shows just how much Zamperini can and does take to make it home. 

Jolie is currently filming By the Sea, which she will direct and star in (alongside her husband Brad Pitt). Unbroken opens December 25.