For better or worse, Hollywood is always close behind major news stories so it’s no surprise that Deadline.com posted this story only a few hours after President Obama’s stunning announcement of the death of Osama Bin Laden.
Could we see a movie about the hunt for Bin Laden sometime soon, and would it focus on the intelligence effort, the special forces operation, the politics behind U.S.-Pakistani relations or even the ground-level view from the various Middle-Eastern cultures impacted by the Al Qaeda leader? Whatever the focus, I hope that it’s made by top talent and not just a quick knock-off action movie.
Encouragingly, Deadline reports that Oscar-winning Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow has been prepping a film for some time titled “Kill Bin Laden,” with Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal.
Their movie as planned was based on an earlier unsuccessful mission to try to kill the Al Qaeda leader responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attack on America as he hid in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. But now they’ve certainly got a celebratory ending to that dramatic story with tonight’s announcement that the U.S. conducted a military operation that killed Bin Laden.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Boris Kit also has a blog post about Bigelow’s project (although it looks to be totally cribbed from Deadline) which begins with the line “Somebody get Kathryn Bigelow a rewrite!”
UPDATE: Variety (subscription only) is reporting that Mark Boal’s screenplay is about the very same team that ended up storming Bin Laden’s compound and killing him yesterday:
Boal had [been] following the mission for quite some time, thanks to his access to military intelligence and his background as an investigative journalist. For him, the timing of bin Laden’s death could hardly be better: Had it come much later, making changes would’ve been a scramble, but it’s still late enough to maximize the movie’s timeliness.
It also reports that Bigelow’s film is still scheduled to shoot this summer, but locations may be an issue now.
…back in 2006, Paramount Pictures optioned Jawbreaker, a book by U.S. intelligence operative Gary Berntsen about the December 2001 American-led military mission to hunt and kill Bin Laden right during the opening stages of the 9/11-prompted invasion of Afghanistan that the author as the CIA pointman had helped coordinate with Special Operations Forces.
The film I would most like to see would be about Operation Anaconda, which I’ve read is in development. In March of 2002, U.S. and Afghan forces mobilized to take control of the Shahi-Kot Valley, estimating there were 150-200 Taliban fighters there. But the real number turned out to be more like 500-1,000 enemy fighters. Talk about an escalation of conflict!
Anyone know the status of this project? Here’s a pic that looks to be from the actual operation — there’s a gallery available at a documentary footage signed named Combat Films & Research.
What are your thoughts about a film on the hunt for Bin Laden?
Good Luck and Happy Writing,