Unable to find her second directing project, Angelina Jolie took to sifting through ''generals.''
Looking for a diamond in the rough, the actress-turned-director searched the movies that studios owned but weren't making.
''So I scanned through these generals and landed on `Unbroken,' a story of resilience and strength and the human spirit, of faith and survival at sea,'' says Jolie. ''It was about three sentences and I came home and I said to Brad, `What about this one?' And he said, `Oh, honey, that one's been around forever.' It had a reputation for being one that never gets done.''
But ''Unbroken'' - the true tale of Louis Zamperini, a track star who was lost in the Pacific for 47 days after his plane was shot down during World War II - stuck with Jolie, even though it had been kicking around Hollywood for decades. ''It was like a fever, an obsession,'' she says.
''So I fought for it and I fought for it and I fought for it,'' says Jolie. ''It took me months of fighting to get the job.''
Even for the world's most famous stars, determination is a necessary ingredient for the fall movie season. Few of the fall's films haven't had to claw their way to theaters. It's a season for the movies' most unconventional thinkers, the ones dedicated to making a tragic Olympic wrestler drama ("Foxcatcher'') or finding humor in North Korea ("The Interview'').
Led by ''Unbroken'' (Dec. 25), this year's fall is a battlefield of war stories, including Jolie's (new) husband Brad Pitt on the Western Front in ''Fury'' (Oct. 17), a WWII drama about a tank of American soldiers. Clint Eastwood also returns for his second film this year with ''American Sniper'' (Dec. 25), starring Bradley Cooper as an elite Navy SEAL marksman.
American tales, both triumphant and warped, will be numerous. In the based-on-a-true-story ''Foxcatcher'' (Nov. 14) from Bennett Miller ("Capote,'' ''Moneyball''), an Olympic wrestler (Channing Tatum) is taken in by a rich but demented benefactor (Steve Carell). A year after David Oyelowo and Oprah Winfrey co-starred in ''The Butler,'' they reteam for ''Selma'' (Dec. 25), in which Oyelowo plays Martin Luther King. (Winfrey is a producer.)
In ''The Interview'' (also Dec. 25) from Seth Rogen and his directing partner Evan Goldberg, Rogen and James Franco play journalists asked by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong-un. It's distinguished as the only autumn film a country (North Korea)