Here is an unexpected vote of support for Best Picture nominee Zero Dark Thirty, a film that probably lost an Oscar nomination for director Kathryn Bigelow because of the cage rattling by three U.S. Senators over what they …
EXCLUSIVE: In what is shaping up as the first major deal made on the ground at the Cannes Film Festival, The Weinstein Company is in hot and heavy negotiations for U.S. rights to Code Name Geronimo, the John Stockwell-directed drama about the manhunt for 9/11 terror attack mastermind Osama bin Laden. The deal is in the $2 million range, and is being negotiated on the basis of a trailer for a film that is in post-production.
That footage was unveiled today by Voltage Pictures’ Nicolas Chartier and WME Global’s Graham Taylor (who just landed in Cannes), and Weinstein moved quickly to hammer out a deal with attorney Craig Emanuel.
What is most intriguing about this is that TWC can put the film into theaters in early fall, a move that would put it before the Kathryn Bigelow-directed Zero Dark Thirty. That film, which has an ensemble cast including Joel Edgerton and Jessica Chastain, won’t be released until December 19 after Sony Pictures decided not to put it in theaters during the presidential elections. Already it is clear that President Obama’s green light of the SEAL Team 6 mission will be a major issue in the upcoming presidential campaign, and Republicans have already railed against the notion that writer Mark Boal got inside information from the administration for his script.
Kathryn Bigelow’s Hunt For Bin Laden Pic Hit With Protests In India, Gets Working Title ‘Zero Dark Thirty’: Reports
Members of the right-wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad group stormed the set of Kathryn Bigelow’s hunt for Osama bin Laden film in the Indian city of Chandigarh today, protesting the portrayal of Muslim culture in India, according to reports. Bigelow’s crew had been shooting there for four days although the director is understood not to have been on set during the unrest. Bin Laden was killed by a Navy SEAL team in Abbottabad, Pakistan last year, but unable to shoot there, the Sony Pictures and Annapurna Pictures film is instead using Chandigarh as a stand-in for Lahore — and the Hindu radicals are against the filmmakers portraying their sworn enemy Pakistan on Indian soil. (Since 1947, Muslim Pakistan and predominantly Hindu India have fought 3 wars and remain wary of one another.) Vijay Bhardwaj, a leader of the VHP, told Reuters, “We will not let them put Pakistani flags here and we will not let them shoot for the film.” A member of the crew told AFP that talks had been held with the Hindu protestors to try to defuse the situation. “Nothing has been shut down. We are still filming and will continue to do so,” the person said.
BREAKING: New York-based congressman Peter King has called for an investigation into the Obama Administration’s cooperation with the untitled movie that The Hurt Locker’s Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal are making about Navy SEAL Team 6′s hunt and eventual kill of 9/11 terror mastermind Osama bin Laden. The request came after a New York Times column by Maureen Dowd reporting that the film — which was acquired at auction by Sony Pictures before a script was completed — received cooperation and help in describing a mission that was classified. The filmmakers have just released the following statement:
“Our upcoming film project about the decade long pursuit of Bin Laden has been in the works for many years and integrates the collective efforts of three administrations, including those of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, as well as the cooperative strategies and implementation by the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency. Indeed, the dangerous work of finding the world’s most wanted man was carried out by individuals in the military and intelligence communities who put their lives at risk for the greater good without regard for political affiliation. This was an American triumph, both heroic, and non-partisan and there is no basis to suggest that our film will represent this enormous victory otherwise.” Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal.
The Walt Disney Co. has reversed course and withdrawn its applications to trademark SEAL Team 6, the name of the elite Navy unit that killed Osama bin Laden. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Navy filed its own …
EXCLUSIVE: Fresh from steering Battleship, Peter Berg and Universal Pictures are moving right into a January start date on Lone Survivor, an adaptation of the book by Marcus Luttrell. The film tells the harrowing story of how he and his Navy SEAL team members fought to stay alive after being ambushed in Afghanistan in 2005 by Taliban forces during a covert mission in the Hindu Kush mountain region, where the team went to kill a terrorist leader. Berg has asked his Battleship star Taylor Kitsch to play one of four SEAL team members who fight for their lives. After meeting actors for the past two weeks, Berg will set the rest of the quartet soon.
While movies involving sand and the Middle East have been assiduously avoided by Hollywood after several movies didn’t find audiences, the killing of Osama bin Laden by Navy SEALs has set in motion several films about these operatives and their dangerous missions. Disney trademarked the term SEAL Team Six, and one of the most talked about titles at Cannes has been the drama that The Hurt Locker team of director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal will shoot in the fall about that SEAL Team’s long tactical campaign that culminated with the death of bin Laden. There was rumor that Universal might be one of the suitors, but the studio clearly has its own Navy SEAL movie.
Tina Fey returned as host of Saturday Night Live tonight and brought back her trademark impersonation of Sarah Palin in a Republican 2012 Undeclared Candidates Debate skit. (Fox News, where Palin works as a contributor, carried the first GOP presidential candidates debate this past week.) “It’s just so great to be back on Fox News, a network that both pays me and shows me the questions ahead of time,” Fey’s Palin said. “I just hope tonight that the lamestream media won’t twist my words by repeating them verbatim.” And another zinger: “I want to acknowledge that this week we finally vanquished one of the world’s great villains – and I for one am thrilled to say good riddance to Katie Couric.” Is it just me, or does Fey, former SNL head writer, always elevate the writing on the show when she hosts? Also returning for the skit was alum Darrell Hammond, dusting off his spot-on Donald Trump impersonation:
As for Osama bin Laden, he was everywhere, including an ”Under the Sea” tableau interrupted when bin Laden’s body is dropped into the sea. Fred Armisen read a last will as bin Laden. But Seth Meyers got off the most memorable line of the night during Weekend Update: ”Barack Obama will go down in history as the first black person ever to have to prove that he killed someone”:
Meanwhile, the mash-up of Andy Samberg’s rap group with Michael Bolton in Pirates of the Caribbean and other movies rocked:
Several eagle-eyed viewers today alerted us to a muted line on last night’s episode of the midseason ABC comedy Happy Endings. Just like Monday’s Chuck, which included a reference to the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden a day …
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow in recent weeks has been preparing and starting to cast an indie movie with the working title Kill Bin Laden, while another movie project about the hunt for the Al Queda terrorist leader at a major Hollywood studio stalled back in 2006. Given tonight’s startling news, it’s clear that these may be the timeliest film projects in recent Hollywood history. And judging from tonight’s showbiz phone calls coming into Deadline about Osama bin Laden’s death, I wouldn’t be surprised if the movie studios are anxious to bring these projects to the big screen as soon as possible, updated with the details behind tonight’s successful military mission. Have you seen those spontaneous cheering crowds that formed tonight outside Washington DC’s White House and in NYC’s Times Square as well as around major American cities and small towns? If a patriotic film about this story can tap into these feelings of first helpless horror and then widespread frustration and then successful closure, it could be a real winner at the box office.
Bigelow and Mark Boal, her collaborator on The Hurt Locker, have been mobilizing their film to go into production as their follow-up to that Best Picture Academy Award winner. Their movie as planned was based on an earlier unsuccessful mission to try to kill the Al Qaeda leader responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attack on America as he hid in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. But now they’ve certainly got a celebratory ending to that dramatic story with tonight’s announcement that the U.S. conducted a military operation that killed Bin Laden. Mind you, reps for Bigelow have told me previously that this movie isn’t specifically about the Al Qaeda leader. A lot of details about this film are stilll sketchy and secret, but I’ve heard that Megan Ellison, daughter of Oracle chief Larry Ellison, is ready to fund it. I heard as recently as Friday that Bigelow and Boal were courting Joel Edgerton for the lead actor. Edgerton had been on the short list for two Universal Pictures movie projects in the works, The Bourne Legacy and Snow White And The Huntsman.
Meanwhile, back in 2006, Paramount Pictures optioned Jawbreaker, a book by U.S. intelligence operative Gary Berntsen about the December 2001 American-led military mission to hunt and kill Bin Laden right during the opening stages of the 9/11-prompted invasion of Afghanistan that the author as the CIA pointman had helped coordinate with Special Operations Forces. The heavily vetted book detailed how close those forces came to finding and executing Bin Laden in the rugged mountains of Tora Bora until they were pulled back after a decision was made to let Pakistan tribal leaders lead the search — a decision experts felt helped Bin Laden get away. The studio hired The Path To 9/11 scribe Cyrus Nowrasteh
This just isn’t Donald Trump’s weekend. First on Saturday he was skewered by President Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents Dinner because of Trump’s relentless attacks relating to Obama’s birth certificate. Then tonight, the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed by an Obama-ordered U.S. Navy Seals mission broke in …