Most Trojan fans are probably already very familiar with the incredible story of Louis Zamperini, the USC Olympian whose improbable survival story became a best-selling novel and the inspiration for many including Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley.
Now that story is being made into a film and NBC gave us the first look during their winter Olympic coverage:
In case you didn’t know, Zamperini was a track star at USC and represented the United States in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He served in the Air Force during World War II and survived 47 days at sea in shark-infested waters after his plane was shot down over the Pacific. Captured by the Japanese and presumed killed in action, he then spent two years in a prison camp before returning home.
Zamperini’s story had a profound affect on Barkley, whose friendship with the elderly Trojan has been well documented. Barkley told Sports Illustrated in 2012 that he thought of Zamperini when the NCAA sanctions hit USC to remind himself that, “It’s not so bad.”
Laura Hillenbrand, who also wrote “Seabiscuit: An American Legend,” wrote Zamperini’s biography “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption” from which the upcoming film takes its name and source material. The book was Time’s top nonfiction book of 2010.
The film stars Jack O’Connell and is directed by Angelina Jolie. It’s release is set for Christmas Day later this year.