Over the weekend, I saw my first TV ad for the movie, Unbroken, based on Laura Hillenbrand's long-lasting best-selling novel. (Still #2 on the New York Times bestseller list for paperback non-fiction. In fairness, it's only been on the list for 12 weeks...but that's only because it was on the hardcover bestseller for so long -- since it was published four years ago, in 2010, that it didn't even get put out in paperback until a few months ago.)
As I've mentioned, I'm particularly supportive of the film because my good friend, writer-director Mick Garris is the son-in-law of the noble subject of the book, Louis Zamperini, father of Mick's wife Cynthia. Louie passed away only three months ago, at the age of 97, and he was pretty vibrant to the end. He was also kept very involved with the production by director Angelini Jolie, who adored him (and oddly, only lived a few blocks away), and I know he saw a lot of footage from the film, and a rough cut. In fact, he was planning to visit the set during production, but ultimately it was too difficult a trip all the way to Australia.
This was a long time coming. For starters, there was a much earlier book on Louis Zamperini many decades ago that was developed for a movie, but never got made. Laura Hillenbrand's book went through countless screenwriters trying to crack the tale properly. In the end, it was a collaboration of draft by a seriously impressive collective of writers -- the Coen Brothers (yes, they did the screenplay without directing), Richard Lagravenese (best known for The Horse Whisperer, The Bridges of Madison County, Beloved and The Fisher King) and William Nicholson (who wrote Gladiator, Les Miserables, and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.)
The TV ad looked absolutely terrific, and I was going to post it here, but found the full trailer and figured it would be best to post that instead. The film opens on Christmas Day.
And I'll be honest, on a totally personal level, my favorite part of the trailer is the screen credit -- "Executive Producer Mick Garris."
But still, the movie looks great.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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