A faith-based sequel to the 2014 Hollywood film "Unbroken" began filming Tuesday in an effort to satisfy fans disappointed the original left out the main character's conversion to Christianity.
Deadline reported "Unbroken: Path to Redemption" will pick up the story of Olympic athlete and World War II prisoner of war Louis Zamperini where the Oscar-nominated "Unbroken," directed by Angelina Jolie, left off.
Matt Baer, who produced the original film, is producing the sequel, which is being directed by "God Is Not Dead" director Harold Cronk. Pure Flix will distribute the film.
Zamperini's story was first told in the book by Laura Hillenbrand. The plane on which Zamperini was flying crashed into the ocean after experiencing mechanical failure, and he was left adrift for 47 days. He ended up being rescued by the Japanese and put into a concentration camp, where he was tortured.
But the second half of Hillenbrand's book tells the story of Zamperini's battle with alcoholism and what is now known as PTSD. He was convinced by his wife to attend a Billy Graham crusade in 1949 where he became a Christian and turned his life around.
Christian fans of Hillenbrand's book were unhappy Jolie's film did not explore that facet of his life, and the makers of the new film hope to rectify that.
"I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to tell the amazing post-war story of Louis Zamperini's life that I am confident is going to appeal to both the secular and faith-based audience," Baer told Deadline.
"The life of American Olympian, WWII airman, castaway and POW Louie Zamperini is a story so extraordinary, it staggers the imagination," Hillenbrand said of the sequel. "I am so pleased to see his story brought back to the screen, where it will continue to inspire audiences."
Billy Graham will be portrayed by his grandson, Will Graham, who also is an evangelist. Samuel Hunt of "Chicago P.D." will play Zamperini, and Merritt Patterson of "The Royals" will play his wife, Cynthia.
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