The suddenly timely thriller known by the working title Kill Bin Laden has found its first killer. After director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal, the team behind The Hurt Locker, spent recent days courting Joel Edgerton for the lead role, 24 Frames confirms the Australian actor has signed on to star. Sources indicate Edgerton will play a special operative, part of an ensemble of male commandos at the center of an mission to kill Bin Laden shortly after the 9/11 attacks. Initially the mission depicted was unsuccessful, but following the events of Sunday night, Boal reworked the script to end the movie with a 40-minute firefight that ends with Bin Laden shot in the head. Kill Bin Laden could shoot as early as this summer.
The martial male leads of the Hurt Locker male (Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty) were top notch — I’m excited to see who Bigelow and Boal get to surround Edgerton, a teriffic machismo centerpiece. The filmmakers are the first to succeed in a recent flurry of inquiries to Edgerton’s agent for a series of high-profile projects. Universal considered Edgerton for both The Bourne Legacy and Snow White and the Huntsman. Jeremy Renner eventually landed Bourne, and Edgerton passed Snow White on to Chris Hemsworth, the new top contender to play the huntsman. 24 Frames suggests Edgerton was shortlisted for one of the lead roles in The Hunger Games, which is the first I’ve heard of it. Hit the jump for a look at what role Lionsgate might want him for.
Edgerton would make a great Boggs, the soldier who protects our heroine Katniss. But Boggs doesn’t enter until book three, Mockingjay, and I don’t see a way to retcon the character into the first movie. At 36, Edgerton is younger than the other actors mentioned for the role of the drunken mentor Haymitch (John C. Reilly, Woody Harrelson), though it’s not necessarily a bad fit. Edgerton would be a strange hire for the villain President Snow, but after that I’m out of possible male leads. Any ideas? The phrasing sounds like it might be past tense, so let’s see if anything comes of this purported shortlist.
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth star in The Hunger Games, scheduled for release on March 23, 2012. Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) will direct from a script by Billy Ray (State of Play). Click here for all our Hunger Games coverage. The official synopsis:
The film chronicles Katniss Everdeen’s defiant struggle to survive in a future dystopia where The Capitol requires its twelve subjugated districts to atone for their onetime insurrection through the annual “Hunger Games,” a fight-to-the-death event held in a fantastical man made arena. Although persevering through extreme hardship is commonplace for the audacious heroine, she is forced to make choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love in order to win the games and return home to District 12.