Running a dense two hours thirty, before credits, Zero Dark Thirty reunites director Kathryn Bigelow with reporter-turned-scenarist Mark Boal in re-creating the hunt for Osama bin Laden, rejecting nearly every cliche one might expect from a Hollywood treatment of the subject. Far more ambitious than The Hurt Locker, yet nowhere near so tripwire-tense, this procedure-driven, decade-spanning docudrama nevertheless rivets for most of its running time by focusing on how one female CIA agent with a far-out hunch was instrumental in bringing down America's most wanted fugitive. Spinning the pic as a thriller, Sony could beat the 9/11-movie curse when the Dec. 19 limited release goes wide in January. more »
Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty May Head To U.S. Theaters Slowly; Johnny Depp Eyes Transcendence: Biz Break
Also in Wednesday evening's round-up of news briefs: Garden State filmmaker Zach Braff is readying a comedy series for ABC. The Academy announces its Screenwriting Nicholl Fellowship winners and a Bin Laden raid film produced by Harvey Weinstein has Republicans in a rage.
While there's no shortage of burly action hero types in Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty, it's Jessica Chastain who's front and center hunting down Osama bin Laden in the first trailer — and that in itself is worth noting as you mark your calendars for the December Oscar contender.
Speculation ran somewhat rampant that Katheryn Bigelow received inside help in crafting her latest action-thriller Zero Dark Thirty, her upcoming follow-up to her Oscar-winning turn with The Hurt Locker. Tempers flared when President Obama's administration was accused of giving Bigelow insight into the mission that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden back in May 2011, but she denied the access. Originally set for an October 2012 release, Sony delayed the date so as to avoid being further embroiled in any political controversy ahead of the U.S. election in November. Coming in at one-minute, fifteen seconds, the teaser is definitely that.
Look what came out of all that right-wing saber-rattling in January: "According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, the White House, Defense Department and CIA all offered rare, if not unprecedented, access to Boal and [Kathryn] Bigelow. The access included a guided tour of a secret CIA planning facility called The Vault and linking Boal up with what a Defense Department official described as 'a planner, SEAL Team 6 operator and commander.' The only restriction was that Boal not disclose the SEAL’s name." Meanwhile, America's "top commando officer" denies everything: "We don’t have a partnership [...] I have no interaction and no one on my staff has any interaction with — what’s her name? Bigelow?" [Danger Room]
Also in Thursday morning's briefs: Bill Clinton heads to Monaco for celebrity fundraising, Obama is criticized for helping Kathryn Bigelow's latest film on Osama bin Laden, and a pair of fan-friendly sites team up for ticket initiative.
He's played cops, a count, Houdini, a time traveler, a king, and even a drag queen, but in this week's Lockout, Guy Pearce treads new ground as an all-out action hero -- not that he necessarily sees things that way. "People used to say that about L.A. Confidential," he recalled to Movieline recently in Los Angeles. "They’d go, ‘Wow, so you’re an action hero!’ I’d be like, action hero? It’s a ‘50s film noir!" Even still, after 20+ years of acting, most recently in a string of acclaimed supporting turns (see: The King's Speech, The Hurt Locker, Animal Kingdom, Mildred Pierce), it's only now that Pearce is laying claim to the title, guns blazing.
It was only a matter of time, really; we've got FDR fighting werewolves and Abe Lincoln staking vampires, why not resurrect Osama bin Laden from the dead so Western heroes can kill him off again? This time around it's a bunch of soldiers -- excuse me, hunky, apparently manscaped soldiers -- hunting the zombified bin Laden as he leads an army of flesh-eating terrorists towards a zombie apocalypse in Osombie. Yep, someone went there. Too soon?
Kathryn Bigelow's upcoming movie about the team of Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden was originally set to debut right before election day 2012, prompting U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) to call for an investigation of the extent of the Obama administration's assistance to the project. Now, that point seems moot; Sony has rejiggered its release schedule so that the Mark Boal-penned picture will debut after the Presidential election, and possibly not until 2013. Then again, with today's news of Muammar Gaddafi's death, Obama might not need as much help raising the victory flag, pre-election. [NYT]
"Usually when I hear the words 'family drama,' I run," said Willem Dafoe, who nevertheless found something to savor in writer-director Dennis Lee's Fireflies in the Garden. Little did Dafoe or his castmates Julia Roberts, Ryan Reynolds, Emily Watson, Hayden Panettiere and least of all Lee himself know that their particular family drama wouldn't make it to American theaters only today -- nearly four years after its Berlin Film Festival premiere in 2008.
Sunday'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.