British actor Jack O’Connell has been selected to play a real-life war hero in Angelina Jolie’s next directorial project, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
O’Connell, 22, is best-known for playing James Cook on Skins, and will also appear as Calisto in next year’s 300: Rise of an Empire.
The film is based on Lou Zamperini, an American track star who ran in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He enlisted in the Air Force to fight in World War II, and in 1943 his plane was shot down over the Pacific. Though he survived, Zamperini was forced to endure 47 days without food and rationed water.
Ethan and Joel Coen recently penned a rewrite of the screenplay, and the film is set to be released Christmas Day 2014.