Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie

Kathryn Bigelow & Writer Mark Boal Did Get Their Hands On Classified Info After All For 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist May 24, 2012 at 7:00PM

Remember last year when allegations flew that director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal had gained access to some classified or, at the very least top level intelligence about the raid that would end up killing Osama Bin Laden for their film "Zero Dark Thirty"? Well, it looks like they did. Ruh roh.
9

Remember last year when allegations flew that director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal had gained access to some classified or, at the very least top level intelligence about the raid that would end up killing Osama Bin Laden for their film "Zero Dark Thirty"? Well, it looks like they did. Ruh roh.

Watchdog group Judicial Watch (via EW) have done some digging and according to them, the Defense Department let Bigelow and Boal talk to the “planner, Operator and Commander” of the Seal Team 6 mission, and were cautioned to keep this name out of any official production notes “because…he shouldn’t be talking out of school.” So in essence, one could surmise the DoD (and filmmakers) knew what they were doing was wrong, or at least not entirely on the level. But wait, there's more. Bigelow and the filmmaking team were apparently also granted access to The Vault, the building where the CIA planned their mission.

“These documents, which took nine months and a federal lawsuit to disgorge from the Obama administration, show that politically-connected filmmakers were giving extraordinary and secret access to bin Laden raid information, including the identity of a Seal Team Six leader,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement. Somebody has some explaining to do....

Meanwhile, Bigelow and Boal continue to take the tack that what they did -- ethical/legal or not, which is what we suppose will be grappled with over the next few months -- has nothing to with partisan politics, and the studio has put forth the same statement they did last year to the LA Times: "“Our upcoming film project about the decade long pursuit of Bin Laden has been in the works for many years and integrates the collective efforts of three administrations, including those of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, as well as the cooperative strategies and implementation by the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency. Indeed, the dangerous work of finding the world’s most wanted man was carried out by individuals in the military and intelligence communities who put their lives at risk for the greater good without regard for political affiliation. This was an American triumph, both heroic, and non-partisan and there is no basis to suggest that our film will represent this enormous victory otherwise.”

All branches of the armed forces have generally had no problem participating/advising Hollywood productions in the past, though we'd wager if this situation gets any more ugly, those kinds of arrangements might become harder to come by. And while folks will be looking to politicize this, we trust that Bigelow and Boal were looking for accuracy more than anything else: “Part of the challenge for us is to capture how difficult this was because there is a version of it that in hindsight, it just looks like it fell into place,” Boal told the DoD in a meeting last summer. “That is why I just wanted to ask you hypothetically about what could have happened wrong, because it makes it more dramatic when it all goes right.”

Either way, one of this fall's most exciting pictures just got an extra layer of interest. Pro-Obama propaganda or the best damn account of the raid on Bin Laden's compound we're going to get? We'll find out when the movie opens, after the election, on December 19th.

This article is related to: Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates