Osama bin Laden's Death Brings Timeliness to Hollywood Film Projects

obama300.jpgSunday's news from President Barack Obama that Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan brought closure to a nation still grieving the tragedy of 9/11. Deadline reports that Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow has been prepping her follow-up to the Iraq-set The Hurt Locker, entitled Kill Bin Laden, which could become the first feature film to depict the historical events of May 1, 2011.

Previous reports were uncertain of how the bin Laden angle fit into Bigelow's film, but Deadline confirms the film's focus on "an unsuccessful mission to try and 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."

From Deadline:

Mind you, reps for Bigelow have told me previously that this movie isn't specifically about the Al Qaeda leader. A lot of details about this film are stilll sketchy and secret, but I've heard that Megan Ellison, daughter of Oracle chief Larry Ellison, is ready to fund it. I heard as recently as Friday that Bigelow and Boal were courting Joel Edgerton for the lead actor.

Another film depicting the hunt for bin Laden stalled a few years ago at Paramount, but the events of bin Laden's fall, ordered this week by President Obama, should renew studio interest. That project, based on Gary Berntsen's non-fiction book Jawbreaker, followed a failed mission to capture the terrorist leader in the wake of 9/11 and was adapted for the screen by Cyrus Nowrasteh (The Path to 9/11, The Stoning of Soraya M.):

The heavily vetted book detailed how close those forces came to finding and executing bin Laden in the rugged mountains of Tora Bora until they were pulled back after a decision was made to let Pakistan tribal leaders lead the search -- a decision which experts felt helped bin Laden get away.

In any case, whatever happens to these film projects, bin Laden's death is a unifying cultural event of enormous magnitude and marks a historic emotional moment for this generation. Feel free to sound off in the space below on the aforementioned films or with your non-film thoughts and share your reactions to the historic event with the Movieline community.

· Pair Of Hunt For Bin Laden Projects Could Be Timeliest Movies In Hollywood Now [Deadline]

[Photo credit: Getty Images]


  • SunnydaZe says:

    This post is a big WTF. I can't even make sense of it. It seems to worry about how this so called political event affects film projects?

  • Jen Yamato says:

    Of course that's not the priority. But this is a movie site, and it's the springboard for bringing an incredibly relevant event into our community to discuss respectfully, should readers want to. I don't know anyone who's not thinking about this tonight.

  • j'accuse! says:

    Damn right. Good work Jen. Carry on...

  • Jack Knive says:

    It really sounds like they just walked into his swingin' pad and offed him, after months and months of bullshit "prep" that included double checking the address the Pakistani's had handed them.
    Seriously, I do not consider myself a cynical person-- quite the opposite as I try to rally against such things in our numb irony culture-- but I just do not see this thing having gone down Bruckheimer style. (And you can't be too cynical when you consider Pat Tillman.)
    Not that we won't be greeted with fantastically grotesque fictionalizations.
    The Obama political machine is really miraculous. He was going down on both flanks, right and left-- and now here he is with an idiotic joke celebrity pitched as his main contender, and he pulls out the Osama Death card trumping the pope's beatification.
    I voted for the man, so don't take me the wrong way. (Although, I have to say I'd rather have universal healthcare than some spoil-rich-boy-turned-zealot's head on a pike.)
    It's just a surreal world we live in, when one master media figure appears on the screens announcing the death of another video star. I mean, I just know these folks from the pictures. The Orwellian weariness in me is creeping in the seams.
    I am troubled today not only because the death of one man, one inflated and projected demonic figurehead, ends nothing. Doesn't change the fact that my innocent 18-year old students were coerced and lured into the addiction and atrocity of war which will leave them scarred and complicit for the rest of their lives.
    Our imperial endeavors don't seem to be flagging, regardless of all the waving flags.
    Who will be our glorious target now? Gaddafi's about played out. And everyone else is paid up.
    I am troubled today, just as I was when I watched a grainy cell phone clip of Saddam Hussein being hastily hung in a bloodthirsty basement to thrilled applause.
    No one's death is something people should high five about.
    I believe this wholly.
    The same sickness of defining each other as idealogical abstractions and not HUMAN BEINGS that had the jihadists celebratory in the streets when the towers fell is a contagion I expect to smell locally all day today.
    It's "Boot In Yr Ass" time in America once again.
    Is this thoughtful enough, Ms. Yamato? And, no, don't feel bad about writing of this MEDIA event in terms of it's relevance to this site's fetishes. AICN did a much more disturbing job of that with their "Will this help Captain America's Box Office?" Headline.
    It does make me wish there were legitimate places online for communication that isn't so.... "lifestyle" specialized?
    I guess that's our ephemeral tribal times.

  • Bradley Paul Valentine says:

    Jack, you're nobody's conscience. You go to film sites and are shocked to see news related to film? Get it together, man.

  • JBB says:

    "I voted for the man..."
    Well, that pretty much sums up the problem. This guy with the dubious moniker of "Jack Knive" votes for the guy (Obama), yet STILL complains about him.
    And yet, ol' Jack Knive will most likely vote for him again. A typical Obama voter. Blind devotion regardless of the cost or, more appropriately, toll on the U.S. citizenry...

  • Jack Knive says:

    I wasn't being ironic when I said "don't feel bad." I actually meant to suggest that I understood the urge to note this event here in this particular virtual place.
    These things are MEDIA events, unless you happen to have been one of the individuals personally effected by the events of 911 (a tiny, and usually more thoughtful minority than the dramatic fiends who have imported and exaggerated their anguish.)
    I mean Obama killed Osama has more in common with Godzilla Vs. Mothra than it does something concrete to almost everyone who could be reading this.
    I do understand what this blog thing is. I just meant to muse about how odd it is to find a kinda-sorta community-esque urge to share thoughts about real life and real death inside of these little niches.
    I actually thought Ms. Yamato's defense of her own intentions was right on. I meant to be pointing out how overly serious my tone had been and shift into a closing word of commiseration.
    Oh, well. I should have been sleeping anyway. Isn't that the genesis of most blog postings? Our national long sleepless night?
    And, point of fact, I am my own conscience.
    And you do not know me, Mr. Valentine. I can see how you might think so since I actually posited some of my thoughts, however ill-constructed, instead of offering a derisive dismissal in two cents.
    You put a boot in my ass. It is the American way.

  • warren currier says:

    Jen: It's also likely that you do not know anyone who IS critically thinking about any of this. period. To explain:
    1. Benazir Bhutto, many years ago (~Nov. 2007) mentioned in an interview the name of the person who killed OBL to David Frost. Good tool as he is, there were NO FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS.
    And then, what, six weeks later... at the end of December 2007, Benazir Bhutto was murdered.
    2. I asked the FBI was asked WHY Osama Bin Laden was NOT wanted for the crimes committed in NYC and WDC on September 11, 2001.
    They responded: "There was/is NO EVIDENCE linking OBM to the events of that day".
    That's right!!
    Go to the FBI website. Do a little homework. Read what Bin Laden IS wanted for.
    Whatever it is -- is NOT about 11 September 2001. Not even 'The Cole' is mentioned.
    It is easy to get sucked in to the current story and less easy 'to grow some' courage and learn the truth.
    They'll spin what they need to in order to see how many people are paying attention. The current US president is supposed to get another term, according to the larger plan.
    All of what is going on is simply a distraction from what is really going on. And by the time you figure out what is really going on, your friends included, it will be to late to do much about it.
    You'll say, "SH!T.... I/We didn't see that coming"

  • Jen Yamato says:

    Thoughtful indeed, Jack. I may not be quite as cynical as you, but I definitely share the resistance to celebrating a death even as I understand why others might. I couldn't help thinking that Obama (at least, as I think of him) would have hesitated morally, as a man and not a president, to sign anyone's death warrant. At least, I'd like to think so.

  • SunnydaZe says:

    To be clear, I did not say this article was offensive. In the emotional state I was in last night (along with many) I was still trying to comprehend this event. An event like this divides people into categories as some celebrate, others mourn, and many question what is true. A great mind once said never be joyous in war; always enter with a somber heart for war is tragedy. If this article had been posted on Tuesday or even today it would have had a different impact. I fully appreciate what you said about wanting to address the event within the context of movies but maybe some breaking events are beyond pop culture. I emphasize MAYBE because this is just my opinion. I feel very sad when I realize this comment box is meant for praise and jokes but not true emotional reactions. Sure, delete a comment which is vulgar or has no merit other than to insult but deleting a comment which questions your intent?

  • S.T. VanAirsdale says:

    That comment should not have been removed. We don't delete anything but abusive/vulgar comments and/or spam. I went through and traced it to a tech glitch; it has since been restored. I apologize for the confusion.

  • SunnydaZe says:

    Thank you. I am never happy to question your site but I do try to be honest in the same way I would be with a friend. I remember the days of Defamer when anyone with an opposing viewpoint would not only have the comment deleted but be banned. In the light of day, the above article has more context now that the emotional "shock" of the event has worn off. Much of what I love about Movieline is the opposing viewpoints which can be expressed.

  • Jen Yamato says:

    Sunnydaze: I understand your reaction - it's one I've had myself to much of the coverage that's hit elsewhere since last night. Your comments are most welcome, of course, and these are valid points that you raise.

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