It was a happy coincidence for Sony that Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal already had a Osama Bin Laden project in the works when he was killed. With Bigelow attached, Sony was able to fast track the project, give it some much needed credibility, and scare anyone off from making a competing picture. Even before cameras start rolling this untitled Bin Laden movie has had its fair share of controversy and it’s now considering how to avoid more.
Sony was set to release the picture October 12, 2012, which would have put it just weeks ahead of the 2012 election. Now they are giving serious consideration to movie the release date to after the election or even into the next year. Spielberg made the same decision with Lincoln just a few weeks back, but while that was motivated by a desire to keep Republicans from using the movie as a promotion for their party Sony is moving their film to avoid further accusations that the movie is meant to bolster Obama’s chances at reelection.
Moving to November or December is the most likely move for Sony to make, it keeps the movie’s name out of the election rhetoric but places it firmly in Oscar season, which with Bigelow’s recent win is the kind of publicity Sony won’t be able to resist.
It’s encouraging that the movie is avoiding (too many) political connections and trying to stand on its own feet as an action-thriller (with some obvious Academy pandering). Although I admit either way I’m seeing this movie the first day it comes out. What are your thoughts?