Angelina Jolie has chosen Jack O'Connell to star in her second directorial feature, Unbroken. O'Connell (James Cook on Skins) will be playing Lou Zamperini in the World War II drama, which tells the true story of Zamperini's crash landing, 47-day survival in the Pacific, and subsequent two years of prison and torture after washing up on a Japanese island. The film, set to release December 2014, is an adaptation of the bestselling book by Laura Hillenbrand. Jolie has said that Zamperini "is a hero of mine, and now—I am proud to say—a dear friend. I am deeply honored to be telling his extraordinary story, and I will do my absolute best to give him the film he deserves." Read more about the film here.
The Academy announced on Wednesday that next year, it will inaugurate a new Oscars tradition. A few days prior to the awards ceremony, the Academy will host a live showcase concert of Oscar-nominated scores and songs. A Los Angeles symphony orchestra will perform up to 10 minutes of each score, ideally with the composers conducting their own pieces. Nominated songwriters may also perform their own original songs live as part of the concert. The first such concert is scheduled for February 27, 2014, and is not expected to be televised. Read more on the concert here.
Oscar winner Halle Berry has joined the Emillio Ferrari-helmed indie comedy Mother, in which her character pretends to be the mother of a young man she met on the run, in order to get out of her life with a mobster. Johnny Depp, resilient as ever, is bouncing back from Lone Ranger and in talks with David Koepp to star in his film Mortdecai, based on the trilogy by Kyril Bonfigioilo. Depp and Koepp have worked together before on The Secret Window in 2004. Also keep an eye out for Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen in the film adaptation of Andy Mulligan's Trash, helmed by veteran director Stephen Daldry. Read more casting news here.
In an attempt to compete with Netflix, Amazon just signed a deal with Miramax. Now, hundreds of titles from the studio will be available as part of Amazon's Prime Instant Video options. Although Netflix is still the front-runner for video streaming, Amazon is now offering over 41,000 films and TV shows to members. The deal is part of Miramax's plan to market its library instead of develop new content. They struck a similar deal with Netflix back in 2011. Amazon Prime Instant Video titles now include titles like Amélie, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Life is Beautiful, among others. Read more about the deal here.