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Osama bin Laden movie project already in works
May 2, 2011 / 3:16 AM / 7 years ago

Osama bin Laden movie project already in works

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Somebody get Kathryn Bigelow a rewrite!

Movie director Kathryn Bigelow of the United States, winner of an Oscar as best director in 2010 for the "Hurt Locker" speaks to reporters in Havana December 5, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer

Just as the Oscar-winning director of Iraq war movie “The Hurt Locker” and her screenwriting collaborator Mark Boal have been meeting with actors for an Osama Bin Laden assassination project, came the news on Sunday that U.S. forces had killed the al Qaeda leader in a Pakistani compound.

How this will impact the project is yet to be seen. Bigelow and Boal, the director and writer of the 2009 best picture winner “The Hurt Locker”, were already working on an action thriller tentatively titled “Kill Bin Laden”. The movie is to be based on a failed Black Ops mission by the US military to capture the Al-Qaida leader.

Michael Fassbender was one of the actors in contention to star, but he is no longer in the running. Joel Edgerton is the latest to be circling the project, and sources say he is likely to attach himself now that his association with Universal studio’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” seems to have waned.

Edgerton was until about a week ago a strong contender to play the Huntsman, a role Viggo Mortensen was once interested in playing..

But now that Bin Laden has been killed, what happens to the “Kill Bin Laden” project?

Osama bin Laden (L) sits with his adviser and purported successor Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian linked to the al Qaeda network, during an interview with Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir (not pictured) in an image supplied by the respected Dawn newspaper November 10, 2001. REUTERS/Hamid Mir/Editor/Ausaf Newspaper for Daily Dawn

The real-world development could impact the project in several possible ways: The movie could stay more or less the same, gaining momentum as Sunday’s events give its subject matter added weight, context and timeliness.

Or perhaps the project will do a 180-degree turn, with a new story line and focus. It’s hard to imagine the events surrounding Bin Laden’s ultimate killing not being incorporated into the script in some fashion.

Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden is pictured in this undated file photo. Osama bin Laden is dead and his body has been recovered by U.S. authorities, U.S. officials said on the night of May 1, 2011. REUTERS/Handout/Files

Or, of course, Bigelow could lose interest in the subject matter altogether, especially given all the other Bin Laden projects that will likely be fast-tracked to capitalize on the intense worldwide interest in this subject.

Paramount Pictures in 2006 optioned “Jawbreaker”, a book written by intelligence operative Gary Bernsten, about a 2001 hunt for Bin Laden during the opening stages of the war in Afghanistan.

The next few weeks will likely see a ton of new Bin Laden projects, especially as the details of the U.S. mission to kill him become known.

The Hollywood Reporter hears that Bigelow and Boal are digesting the news and will spend the week figuring out their next move. We can be sure that Boal will be using his extensive intelligence connections to get the inside information on the mission. And if they move forward, the final film will no doubt be authentic and timely.

Editing by Jill Serjeant

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