According to a report from Judicial Watch, Bigelow and Boal were given unprecedented access by the CIA to make "Zero Dark Thirty," a film that tells the story of the hunt for the world's most wanted man.
Documents obtained by the foundation through the Freedom of Information Act show that the filmmakers were allowed to meet with -- and learn the identity of -- a "planner, Operator and Commander of SEAL Team Six," the team responsible for the capture and killing of bin Laden.
A meeting transcription states that Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers told Boal and Bigelow, "The only thing we ask is that you not reveal his name in any way as a consultant because . . . he shouldn't be talking out of school," adding that "this gives him one step removed and he knows what he can and can't say, but this way at least he can be as open as he can with you and it ought to meet your needs."
The two were also given access to "the Vault," which Judicial Watch describes as "the CIA building where some of the tactical planning for the bin Laden raid took place." Emails also state that the Obama administration had a hand in providing access to Bigelow and Boal. In a statement provided to HuffPost Politics, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor denied any wrongdoing:
"When people, including press, authors, filmmakers, documentarians, who are working on projects that involve the President ask to speak with administration officials, we do our best to accommodate them to make sure the facts are correct.," he said. "That's hardly a novel approach to the media. We do not discuss classified information. The information that the White House provided about the bin Laden raid was focused on the President's role in that decision making process. The same information was given to the White House press corps."
This isn't the only trouble "Zero Dark Thirty" has had since its inception. While filming in India, Bigelow and her team faced backlash from local Hindus over making the set area appear Pakistani.
"Zero Dark Thirty," starring Chris Pratt, Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton, is currently slated for a December 19 release date.
[via Judicial Watch b/w THR]