Several developing films centered on bin Laden already existed prior to the Al Qaeda terrorist leader’s death in Pakistan over the weekend, with talented filmmakers like Kathryn Bigelow and Oliver Stone attached to some of these projects. But what are the details of these movies? And what’s the status on each project now that bin Laden is dead?
We’ve got the rundown of Hollywood’s various bin Laden projects after the jump.
“Kill Bin Laden”
The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline both have an extensive rundown on “Kill Bin Laden,” a project that Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow has been preparing alongside “Hurt Locker” collaborator Mark Boal in recent weeks. Their movie was to focus on a previous and unsuccessful attempt on bin Laden’s life. It’s currently unclear how and if bin Laden’s death will factor into the movie, but considering that casting is underway — “The Thing” star Joel Edgerton is reportedly in contention for the lead role — it feels like a sure bet that the film will come to life in some form or another.
Deadline also mentions “Jawbreaker,” a book written by U.S. intelligence operative Gary Bernsten about yet another failed mission to hunt and kill bin Laden that was initiated shortly after the events of 9/11. Oliver Stone was supposedly eyeing a film adaptation as a follow up to “World Trade Center,” but the project stalled. Perhaps recent events will rejigger interest in bringing “Jawbreaker” to screens.
Intriguingly enough, Deadline reports that after “Jawbreaker” stalled, Paramount toyed with the idea of using the hunt for bin Laden as a launching point for a new movie focusing on Tom Clancy’s iconic Jack Ryan character. It doesn’t seem likely that this version will get off the ground any time soon, as Chris Pine is currently attached to resurrect the franchise in the tentatively titled “Moscow,” though script problems surrounding that feature could theoretically open the door for a bin Laden-centered rewrite.
Looking back even further, George Clooney optioned the rights to “The Challenge,” a movie about Salim Hamdan, bin Laden’s bodyguard and driver, back in late 2008. In early 2009, it was reported that Clooney would likely star in and direct the adaptation of Jonathan Mahler’s book, but very few details have surfaced since then.
Are you interested in seeing any of these movies, particularly given news of bin Laden’s death? Tell us what you think in the comments section and on Twitter!