Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal proved they could bring the emotional toll of war as well as the tension and immediacy of combat experienced by soldiers fighting in the Middle East to vivid life with the Oscar-winning 'The Hurt Locker.' So, it's no surprise the team would reunite professionally for a thematically similar film. But things just got a little dicey for their proposed project, 'Kill Bin Laden.'
Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced that U.S. special forces found and killed terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Bigelow and Boal had recently held informal meetings with actors to begin casting 'Kill Bin Laden,' about a failed Black Ops mission by the U.S. to capture the al-Qaida leader, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Now, real-life events have put the film in jeopardy. Read on for how Bin Laden's death will likely impact the film.
THR reports Bin Laden's death could affect 'Kill Bin Laden' in several different ways.
The film was reportedly at the casting stage. 'X-Men: First Class' and 'Jane Eyre' star Michael Fassbender had been in talks to star but is reportedly no longer being considered for the project. 'Animal Kingdom''s Joel Edgerton, who was director Tony Gilroy's first choice to take over the 'Bourne' franchise, may now be in contention. Bigelow is well-known for casting little-known actors -- Jeremy Renner's breakout role was in Bigelow's 'Hurt Locker' -- so Edgerton seems a good fit for the director.
Early this year, Moviefone reported that Bigelow and Boal had put the big-budget thriller 'Triple Frontier' on the back burner to work on 'Kill Bin Laden.' The project was set to be financed by Annapurna Pictures on a $10 million budget, and production was reportedly set to begin sometime this summer.
"This is an exciting, involving story in the tradition of the best film thrillers," Annapurna head Megan Ellison told Variety at the time. "That it is fact-based makes it all the more relevant and fascinating for a worldwide audience."
While it is unlikely that the film's story wouldn't be impacted by news of Bin Laden's death, there is a possibility that Bigelow and Boal, a former combat journalist who loosely based his 'Hurt Locker' script on real-life events and characters, will proceed with the film as is, hoping that real-life events add context to their story of a failed mission to capture the terrorist leader. They could also choose to scrap the project or rewrite it to change its focus and storyline entirely.
THR notes several Bin Laden–centric projects are in the works, including an adaptation of Gary Bernsten's 2005 book 'Jawbreaker,' about the hunt for Bin Laden at the onset of the war in Afghanistan, and it is likely more will come out of the woodwork as intelligence about the mission that resulted in his death is released.
Bigelow and Boal are said to be assessing their options with respect to 'Kill Bin Laden' and will announce the direction of the project sometime in the next few weeks.