Columbia Picks Up Kathryn Bigelow's Untitled Osama bin Laden Film
by Alex Billington
May 24, 2011
It was officially announced by Columbia Pictures (via Deadline) that they have acquired US distribution rights to the new film from director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal, the Oscar winning team behind The Hurt Locker. Its been called various names including Triple Frontier and Sleeping Dogs, but Columbia's press release calls this an "untitled film." It will focus on the black ops mission to find Osama bin Laden, which resulted in his death this month during a raid on his compound in Pakistan. Bigelow & Boal have been developing this since 2008 and plan to incorporate the recent events. That didn't take long.
Sony Pictures Co-Chair Amy Pascal commented in the press release for this announcement, stating:
“With the death of Osama bin Laden, this film could not be more relevant. Kathryn and Mark have an outstanding perspective on the team that was hunting the most wanted man in the world. Mark is second to none as an investigative journalist, and Kathryn will bring the same kind of compelling authenticity and urgency that distinguished The Hurt Locker and made that film so memorable and special.”
Shooting is already set to begin later this summer, but casting is still unannounced. Megan Ellison, who recently acquired the Terminator rights, is producing the film at Annapurna Films. There have been endless casting rumors since last year, including big names like Johnny Depp and Tom Hanks and Will Smith, but none of them are mention yet, so Columbia is keeping things hush hush for now. We'll just have to wait and see how this project pans out, but with a big studio now attached, this thing is ready to go and we'll soon be seeing the bin Laden killing as a movie within a year. I'm happy to see Bigelow working on another gritty, war film like this, but is it too soon to tackle this story or will she pull off another fantastic film? Stay tuned!