One of the more interesting projects set to be released this year is director Kathryn Bigelow’s heretofore-untitled follow-up to her Best Picture and Best Director winning 2008 film The Hurt Locker. The new project centers on the Navy SEAL team who hunted down and killed Osama Bin Laden, and now Deadline reports that the pic has a working title of Zero Dark Thirty. The title is a military term for a very early starting time, so we’ll presumably be seeing some sleepy SEALs. The stellar ensemble cast includes Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Kyle Chanler, Harold Perrineau, Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, and Edgar Ramirez, and production recently began in India. However, they didn’t exactly get off to a smooth start. Hit the jump for news concerning the production’s less-than-warm welcome in India.
Included in Deadline’s report on the film’s working title is word that Bigelow’s production has run into a bit of trouble in India. They’re using the predominantly Hindu city of Chandigarh as a stand-in for Pakistan, and members of the right wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad group are none too happy about it. Protesters stormed the set earlier today and voiced their displeasure that their country is being used as a double for their sworn enemy. Nothing has been shut down production-wise and they will continue to film, but it appears Bigelow won’t exactly be in for an easy shoot.
The project was already in development with Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) when Bin Laden was killed. They got to work retooling the ending of the film and what started as a small indie is now one of the more high profile projects of the year. The cast is fantastic and I’m extremely eager to see how Bigelow handles her post-Oscar follow-up. Given the film’s topical content and recent accusations that President Obama’s administration shared inside information concerning SEAL Team 6’s operation with Bigelow and Boal, it’s safe to assume that these protests won’t be the last “controversy” surrounding the project. Nevertheless, Bigelow and Boal are incredibly talented individuals and I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of film they put together. Zero Dark Thirty is set to open on December 19th.