Deadline Hollywood reports that Universal Pictures and director Angelina Jolie have found their villain for the Louis Zamperini biopic Unbroken. Jolie has set Japanese guitarist, singer and visual Kei performer Miyavi to play the role of Mutsushiro Watanabe. “The Bird” is the guard who made it his mission to break the spirit of Zamperini, and who haunted the athlete-turned-POW’s every step after he was captured in WWII.
Deadline says that Miyavi’s mixed grace, ferocity, sensitivity and sophistication stuck with the filmmakers during a difficult audition process.
“As a musician, I questioned whether I should take a break from my craft to pursue this role,” Miyavi said in a statement. “After meeting Angie, it became clear to me that an underlying theme to this story is forgiveness. This resonated with me because that is exactly what I want express through my music. I look forward to taking on this challenge whole-heartedly.”
Universal first made a movie deal with Zamperini in 1957, when Tony Curtis planned to make the Zamperini story his followup to Spartacus. Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the most recent draft of the script, with earlier drafts written by William Nicholson and Richard LaGravenese.
Miyavi was a guest at 2009’s Anime Matsuri. He was to have appeared in a series of 2004 events, but canceled.
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