The Hurt Locker team of director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal have been preparing for a new picture in a similar “true life war stories” mode to their Oscar scooper upper. With the working title of Kill Bin Laden, the film would recount the events of a failed Black Ops mission to assassinate the leader of Al Qaeda.
As far as I can ascertain, the film would be based upon, or at least relate the same events, as in Dalton Fury‘s memoir,* also called Kill Bin Laden. This book contains first-hand account of The Battle of Tora Bora, and suggests that the mission was undermined by the Pentagon’s assistance on collaboration with some Afghan allies who just weren’t up to the job.
But now that it’s been announced that Bin Laden actually has been assassinated, what effect might this have on Bigelow’s movie? It’s easy to brew up all kinds of stormy conjecture, but The Hollywood Reporter do at least manage a little update on where the film really is, right at the moment, all mixed in with their guesswork:
We hear 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 dope on the mission. And if they move forward, the final film will no doubt be authentic and timely.
They also report that Animal Kingdom‘s Joel Edgerton is the front runner for the film’s lead – if it happens, and if it stays about the same events. He was one of the contenders for The Bourne Ultimatum, you may recall, before that role went to The Hurt Locker‘s Jeremy Renner.
My hunch is that the filmmakers will move ahead, and quickly, and the movie’s eventual distributors will make the most of its topical relevance. Perhaps the producers will encourage a coda that basks in the death of Bin Laden, considering that option to be more commercial than a failed mission story, but I’m not even sure about that. The Hurt Locker didn’t just hurl itself off the screen and into the cheap seats, and I’d expect something like the same standards here.
*Fury is a pseudonym for Thomas Greer.