ZERO DARK THIRTY Director Kathryn Bigelow and Writer Mark Boal Developing Bowe Bergdahl Movie

by     Posted 185 days ago

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Well this is sure to ruffle some feathers.  Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, the filmmaking team behind the Oscar-winning war drama The Hurt Locker and the tremendous post-9/11 procedural Zero Dark Thirty, are looking to possibly turn the controversial story of Army soldier/POW Bowe Bergdahl into a feature film.  If for some reason you haven’t been paying attention to the news, Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan after leaving his Army base, where he was subsequently tortured and held prisoner for five years.  A little over two weeks ago, Bergdahl was released as part of a prisoner exchange with the Taliban, as the United States traded five Taliban members who were being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Hit the jump for more on the potential Bowe Bergdahl movie, which Bigelow and Boal have apparently been tracking for some time. [Update: Deadline has updated its story to report that Fox Searchlight is also developing a Bowe Bergdahl film of its own based on the non-fiction book America's Last Prisoner of War with In the Bedroom director Todd Field apparently involved.]

bowe-bergdahl-movie-kathryn-bigelow-mark-boalPer Deadline, Bigelow and Boal are in the early stages of planning a feature based on Bergdahl’s story, which Bigelow will direct.  The project is coming together under Boal’s new production company Page One, which is backed by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures.  Ellison, who also produced Zero Dark Thirty, will get a first look at Boal’s script for the Bergdahl film.

It’s unclear what specifically Bigelow’s film would focus on, but the report notes that she and Boal have been quietly tracking Bergdahl’s story for years with the intention of possibly turning it into a movie.  They followed a similar path with Zero Dark Thirty, which had a completed script about the futile search for Osama Bin Laden and was moving forward into pre-production when the U.S. successfully took down the terrorist leader.  Boal scrapped his existing script and wrote a new one, which tracked the hunt for Bin Laden and culminated in the SEAL Team Six raid on his Abbottabad compound.

The Bergdahl feature should provide plenty of fodder for pundits to argue over.  The soldier faces potential desertion charges for abandoning his post, and tensions have run high through Washington and the cable news networks following his return.  Given the confidence, intelligence, and tactfulness with which Bigelow and Boal tackled the Bin Laden hunt in Zero Dark Thirty, I’m very much looking forward to seeing what their take on the Bergdahl story entails.

This potential film could be a ways off though, as Bigelow is next set to direct another timely and promising project called The True American.  Annapurna Pictures is producing the pic, which recounts the fascinating true story of a Bangladeshi immigrant who was maimed during an attack by a self-described “American terrorist” seeking revenge for 9/11.  As the American sat on death row in Texas, the immigrant went to meet him face-to-face and ended up working to save his life.  Tom Hardy is poised to star as the inmate, Mark Stroman, but a production start-date has not yet been announced.

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  • axalon

    Ms. Bigelow certainly knows her niche

    • Your name here

      Right! Can’t she make other types of movies?

      • axalon

        Hey if she’s happy making them and people want to see them, who are we to say otherwise?

      • Neo Racer

        the jerry springer of movie making

  • Ever E One

    This over a Near Dark sequel?! Come on!

  • DEADP00L

    Farcical, this woman is sheeple for CIA propaganda props now. Is she incapable of creating anything that isn’t about the Reign of Terror II?

    • SomeGuy

      Would you consider her a modern-day Leni Riefenstahl?

      • DEADP00L

        I wouldn’t think so if she approached the Abu Graib timeline or made a movie of Blackwater or a story of a vet living on the streets. Hell there was that soldier that fell inlove with an Iraqi woman, secretly married her in Iraq, while on patrol and his company was in on it, that was an interesting tale in itself to be told around all that chaos; but she hasn’t told it. She won’t. She won’t do ANY movie that shows how seriously the government screwed the troops over and the price Iraq in particular had to pay. It’s all favrable to the military industrial complex and it’s vile.

        30 billion dollars just to train iraqi soldiers, instead of going to the America education system or healthcare or bail out an entire American city. What did that get us? 1.700 Iraq soldiers we trained for 10 years only to die in one week ( this week ) by a bunch of men in man dresses and flipflops. While the rest ran off and volunteers were executed out in the desert – where’s that movie?

        4.500 of our troops dead in a decade in Iraq but it took a week to kill 1.500 American trained Iraqis. 30 BILLION just to train that’s not counting the cost of the actual war.

        I’d love to see a director with balls make a movie of all that – wouldn’t that be something? To take on the government propaganda machine in a whole Hollywood movie? But that never happens and this isn’t about how wrong the government was and still is. It’s all about how they can do no wrong and how flawless it is – and we’re number 1!

      • Bo

        Well, this is just any excellent comment in my opinion. I’ve not liked any of her ‘soldier’ movies. I was a Drill Sgt. in the Army. She has no experience or knowledge about the military experience. I hated The Hurt Locker. Just the title is dorky, false nonsense in its reference. Anyway, all that you say in the above comment is right on the money and it’s good to see someone with the moral integrity to call it like it is on this web-site. Thanks.

      • DEADP00L

        I’m just surprised nobody’s tried to blow my head off.

      • Bo

        You got me laughing…and, yea…I know what you mean…just don’t let them know where you are…that’s very important…

      • DEADP00L

        Gotcha

    • Adam Chitwood

      Since she also directed Point Break, K-19: The Widowmaker, Strange Days, and Near Dark, I’d say she’s pretty capable of making all kinds of movies.

      • Al

        Of course she is, in fact, she’s a great film maker. We don’t like her focus as of late.

    • Bo

      Again, you’re absolutely on the money here.

      • DEADP00L

        Thanks.

  • Al

    Bigelow and Boal are masters of making movies that divulge too much information and create rush to judgements on situations that actually directly affect real life vets. I could care less if this movie celebrates Bowe, trashes Bowe, or anywhere in between. It just souldn’t be made. I wish them all the worst.

    • Bo

      Agreed! Although Boal did write what became a very good movie by Haggis titled In The Valley of Elah…with Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron…both were very good and it’s an honest look at the effect the military, war, etc. has on both soldiers and their families. An excellent film that was very much overlooked…in my opinion.

  • Katey

    I wonder what actor would want to play him?

  • Neo Racer

    Oh please gimme a break. NO ONE is standing up for this guy. By all accounts hes a deserter and traitor. GFTO.

    • alk

      I agree with you but I just know the leftist propaganda/Hollywood will rewrite his story as being misjudged and actually a Hero.

      • mehmet of meh

        Orrrr they might try and make something kinda complex, with some moral ambiguity..? Point is you have no clue..

  • Strong Enough

    rather see the true american be made. More hardy is a good thing

  • Strong Enough

    rather see the true american be made. More hardy is a good thing

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  • alk

    Wow…so I guess because Kathryn lost out on directing the Snowden movie to Oliver Stone…,she’s gonna rebound with the latest “American gone rogue” type picture…Bergdahl. Her Bergdahl portrayal will force all audiences into sympathizing with the A-hole…and then do a 180 and tell us how hypocritical we all are at judging someone we know nothing about. I can already see her writing her Oscars acceptance speech at the script meetings. blegh

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  • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

    I hope they call it “5 for 1: The American Dream”. We trade one man, who deserted his brothers to look for the enemy (who the F knows why) and then gets captured for the next 5 years, for 5 high ranking terrorist? Amazing. I can already see the spin that he’s actually a misguided hero. SMH. It’s a shame as I really do love Ms. Bigelow as a director but would hope she would branch out after making two films in a row of similiar nature. Kinda wish she would do something in the vein of Near Dark as I love that movie.

  • Bo

    Man, this woman is like flies to poop when it comes to her jumping on the latest media headline military/soldier story. I find her a dilettante and seriously dislike her movies about the military and soldiers, etc. I come to this perspective of her and her work having served as a Drill Sgt. during the Viet Nam debacle. She’s light weight and presents a false reality to the herd mentality and do-gooder geeks who wouldn’t or couldn’t and didn’t ever serve in the military.

  • Stefano Dynomite

    wow make a movie about a deserter, makes sense

  • Stefano Dynomite

    wow make a movie about a deserter, makes sense

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