Domhnall Gleeson will star opposite lead Jack O’Connell in Unbroken, the incredibly true story of Olympian-turned-POW Louis Zamperini that Angelina Jolie is directing for Universal. The film, based on the best-selling Laura Hillenbrand novel, begins shooting in Australia in October. Universal has set a Christmas Day 2014 release date. UK-born O’Connell nabbed the starring role last month and will play the young Zamperini from the time he was a wunderkind member of the USA track team that competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics to his survival of a harrowing plane crash in the Pacific Ocean during WWII through 47 days adrift in a life raft to becoming a POW in a Japanese prison camp. Irishman Gleeson will Phil, who was also on the raft. His deal closed after a long slog trying to work out scheduling issues, but now it’s been set, making him the second actor to board the project. Gleeson, repped by Paradigm and Ireland-based The Agency, is next up in Richard Curtis’ comedy About Time opposite Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy, which Universal releases November 1. He also is just wrapping Universal’s Scott Rudin-produced Ex Machina, which Alex Garland is directing, and also just starred opposite Michael Fassbender the indie Irish pic Frank. UPDATE: Reps have also confirmed that Finn Wittrock is in talks to join the pic. In addition to extensive theater work Wittrock has parts in HBO’s The Normal Heart and Showtime’s The Masters Of Sex and film roles in Warner Bros’ Winter’s Tale and Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
Related: Angelina Jolie To Direct ‘Unbroken’