LOS ANGELES — Universal Pictures has announced that Angelina Jolie is in Sydney, Australia, to direct the survival saga “Unbroken.” The film will tell the true story of Lou Zamperini, a World War II hero and track star who ran in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
The movie, to be released in December 2014, is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s book “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” which chronicles Zamperini’s life.
The former Olympian spent a harrowing 47 days afloat in the Pacific Ocean following the 1943 crash of his U.S. military plane.
He spent the following two years as a prisoner of war after washing up behind Japanese enemy lines.
“Unbroken” will star Jack O’Connell as Zamperini. The screenplay is being fine-tuned by Joel and Ethan Coen.
o o o
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Hank Williams Jr. will headline Nashville’s New Year’s Eve festivities, which will include multiple days of live music and football.
This year will be the fifth “Bash on Broadway” event in Nashville that concludes with the dropping of a giant musical note. In addition, the Tennessee Titans play the Houston Texans at LP Field on Dec. 29 and the city hosts the Franklin American Mortgage Company Music City Bowl on Dec. 30.
Williams noted in a statement that Dec. 31 will mark the anniversary of his father’s death at the age of 29 on his way to a New Year’s Eve show. Williams said that for years, he did not perform on the anniversary in honor of his father, but said, “this year is a monumental year in the history of Hank Williams.”
Additional artists will be announced later.
o o o
MINEOLA, N.Y. — Donald Trump is thinking about adding an island to his already flashy portfolio.
The real estate mogul and TV reality star said Tuesday he’s considering purchasing New York’s Plum Island, but has yet to make a final decision.
“I’d be interested in looking at it,” Trump told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “It is a very complicated subject and nobody knows what is going to happen.”
The 843 acres off the coast of Long Island house a laboratory that studies infectious animal diseases that could imperil the nation’s livestock industry.
Congress voted in 2009 to close the aging lab, which opened in 1954, and build a new one in Manhattan, Kan.
The General Services Administration is overseeing the proposed sale of the island to defray the costs of constructing the new facility; there has been no estimate of what the island could fetch at auction.
Trump said he has yet to consider exactly what he might do with the property.
In addition to a high-tech lab that studies foot-and-mouth disease and other illnesses dangerous to cattle and pigs, the island includes a defunct U.S. Army base and a lighthouse.
Trump has numerous properties, including luxury hotels and other holdings in New York City, Chicago and Las Vegas.