Kathryn Bigelow & Mark Boal Proceeding With 'Kill Bin Laden'

Tuesday, 03 May 2011 06:41 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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Kathryn Bigelow & Mark Boal Proceeding With 'Kill Bin Laden'

Yesterday, we wondered how director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal would proceed with their tentatively-titled Kill Bin Laden in light of the Al-Qaeda leader's assassination by US forces on Sunday.  We did so, of course, with the caveat that the progress of one film is small potatoes compared to the symbolic, strategic, and political implications of bin Laden's death.  That said, with a number of bin Laden projects suddenly inevitable, the duo behind The Hurt Locker find themselves in an interesting position.  Now, it appears that they will not only go ahead with the film, but Boal will incorporate Sunday's events, and he has resources to make it particularly authentic.

The officially-untitled film centers on an elite Black Ops team's attempt to assassinate bin Laden almost a decade ago, an effort that came very close to succeeding.  Boal has evidently been extensively researching the events through military contacts gained during his time as a war correspondent, and it turns out that the special ops team he has long been researching is, in fact, Navy Seal Team Six, the very same group that carried out the terrorist figurehead's killing.

Variety reports that Boal is still working on the screenplay, and will "definitely include the 40-minute firefight at the compound in Pakistan where bin Laden was found and shot to death Sunday."  The trade also points out that the timing is fortuitous for Boal, who has ample time to rework the script, avoiding frantic, last-minute changes but retaining the film's coveted timeliness.

Bigelow still intends to commence production this summer, but the film does not yet have a viable location.  Security concerns are obviously amplified, with Boal canceling a planned excursion to Afghanistan next week.  For now, the filmmakers will wait and gauge the overall social and political climate in potential Middle Eastern locations.

In keeping with reports that Joel Edgarton is a possibility to star in the film, the industry publication confirms that casting is indeed underway, but is contingent upon Boal's finished screenplay.  The death of bin Laden has allowed the Oscar-winning writer to expand the story's scope, and is also facilitating much greater interest from investors eager to join Megan Ellison in funding the independent film. 

The status of Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal's other developing project, the Triple Frontier, which is set up at Paramount with Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp very much interested in starring.  Scheduling conflicts caused Bigelow and Boal to shift their focus to the smaller Kill Bin Laden, with the intention of then returning to the bigger budget Triple Frontier.

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