Osama the movie: Hurt Locker team on the case
Bigelow and Boal already working on black ops flick ‘Kill bin Laden’
Just hours after his death and already Hollywood is buzzing with rumours of a film about Osama bin Laden and the operation that killed him. And first out of the blocks are the team behind the Oscar-winning Hurt Locker, who were already working on a film about the Navy Seals who stormed his compound in Abbottabad.
Writer Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow have been planning a "low-budget, fast, guerrilla-shot project" about US special forces since last year. According to movie website Deadline.com it even has the working title Kill bin Laden. Casting is already said to be underway.
The original project was to focus on an earlier attempt on the life of the world's most wanted man while he was living as a fugitive in the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
But the timing of Bin Laden's death could not have been much better for Boal and Bigelow, with the project underway but not too far down the line. Obviously Boal will have to rewrite his script, but much of the groundwork has already been done.
Also, the project is likely to be transformed from an obscure low-budget indie flick to a flag-waving blockbuster. As Variety comments: "Bin Laden's death vastly enlarged the scope and story arc, and the new developments should also help generate funding."
Boal's decision to follow the black ops forces who killed Bin Laden may not just be down to chance. Variety claims that Boal has "access to military intelligence" after working as an investigative journalist. Whatever the reasons, he now appears to have hit paydirt.
Obviously such an apposite film could be the making of its lead actor. Little-known Australian Joel Edgerton is being tipped to play the lead role. It is not yet known who will get to play Bin Laden.
The Boal/Bigelow project is unlikely to be the only film that tries to cash in on the operation. Deadline reports that Paramount brought the rights to the book Jawbreaker in 2006. It chronicles the hunt for Bin Laden in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. So far, attempts to bring it to the screen have floundered, but a new effort is now likely.
It is also a good time to be a Navy Seal with a book deal. Former sniper Howard Wasdin has brought forward the publication of his account of service in Somalia in the 1990s by two weeks, and studios have already been beating a path to his door asking to buy the rights.
"This story is really on everyone in Hollywood's mind right now so it is probably going to be a race about who can do this type of story," said literary agent Scott Miller.