Alex Russell will join Jack O’Connell and Domhnall Gleeson in Unbroken, the Angelina-Jolie directed movie which starts shooting in Sydney on October 21.
Russell will play Pete, the older brother of Louis Zamperini (O’Connell), who was a member of the US athletics team at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Serving with the US Air Force in WWII, Louis survived a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean and after 47 days on a life raft was interned in a Japanese prison camp. Louis was a troubled kid at school but found his niche as a track star with Pete’s encouragement.
Best known as Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1&2, Gleeson will play a fellow survivor of the plane crash in the Universal-financed film. Garrett Hedlund (TRON Legacy, Eragon) plays another P.O.W.
Unbroken is Jolie’s second directing effort following The Land Of Blood And Honey, a romantic drama set against the backdrop of the Bosnian War.
The screenplay by Joel and Ethan Coen and Richard LaGravenese is based on the Laura Hillenbrand novel Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption.
Russell will segue to Unbroken after shooting Cut Snake, Matchbox Pictures’ crime thriller directed by Tony Ayres, which shoots in Melbourne next month, co-starring Sullivan Stapleton.
Russell is cast as Sparra Farrell, a young guy who, after serving a prison term, moves to a new city intending to start a new life and hooks up with the beautiful Paula (Jessica De Gouw). Stapleton is brutal ex-crim Pommie who tracks down Sparra and tries to lure him back into a life of crime.
United Management’s Natasha Harrison represents Russell in Australia; he's repped by UTA in the US. He stars in the upcoming Carrie remake after roles in The Host, Bait and Chronicle.