Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden film has, at least in theory, become quite the controversial prestige flick about killing that one dude. In the last week a number of cast-members have been confirmed while a few others have been rumored, all while the script is finalized and production moves forward for a rushed–though strategic–December 19th release. Also, the Pentagon is still going to investigate the film for possibly having inside info on everything that went down.
In any event, the names being tossed around by Deadline with some degree of certainty are Jason Clarke (Chicago Code, The Great Gatsby), Joel Edgerton (from my 20011 #1 film Warrior), and Chris Pratt (Parks And Rec, Moneyball). There aren’t a lot of hints dropped about how they’ll specifically fit into the story of SEAL Team 6’s nationally lauded triumph.
Meanwhile, on the rumor/speculation end of things, Mark Strong, Jessica Chastain, and Edgar Ramirez are mentioned as cast prospects in various stages of negotiation. While Ramirez has had some nice parts over the last few years and is rumored for Star Trek 2, a sizeble role in this film could be a break for him, whereas the other two bring significant wattage to the project already. Strong has become one of the many new wave Brit badasses (starring in two of my top 15 of 2011) and is pretty much a good choice for any movie, while Chastain has seen her critical star rise with well-respected appearances in–count ‘em–five films last year alone (The Help, The Debt, Tree of Life, Take Shelter, and Coriolanus) with more like Wettest County already on the way this year.
This movie is going to have a lot of eyes on it, especially as the election cycle kicks up and get nastier. Obviously there’s a whole heap of people that will be hostile towards anything that reminds us of or glamorizes the long-sought take-down of Osama Bin Laden, considering it’s coming from the Hollywood establishment and considering under whose watch that accomplishment happened. Fortunately the post-election release date will hopefully diffuse some of that unnecessary heat, while firmly planting the film smack-dab in the middle of awards season, where it is sure to get attention by virtue of the subject matter and by being the follow up to a previous best-picture winner that also won the first-ever Best Director gold awarded to a lady.
But ultimately I just hope that this film, for all of the expected posturing and controversy and bullshit that will surround it, turns out to be a good movie, and not just a well-timed pulling of the trigger.