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Osama bin Laden is Dead Tweets, New Yorker Covers, Newspaper Boost, Bigelow/Boal Rewrite UPDATED

by anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
May 2, 2011 4:15 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

President Barack Obama had a great weekend--he not only blitzed Donald Trump at the White House Correspondents' Dinner but then celebrated with America and the world his administration's successful Pakistan Navy SEAL operation to execute Osama bin Laden. His death has proved a boon for old media: May 2's front pages are collectors' items. @NYTimes tweets that it printed 165,000 extra copies of today's historic paper, 2.5 times the normal order. The Washington Post added 35,000. See our gallery of NYorker Bin Laden covers below.

But new media actually broke the news: one man live-tweeted the raid, not knowing what he was covering. The first tweet of the news seems to have come from Keith Urbahn, Donald Rumsfeld’s Chief of Staff:

“So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn.”

But Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who was celebrating his highest-grossing opener to date, Fast Five, also boasted good inside sources:

“Just got word that will shock the world – Land of the free…home of the brave DAMN PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!”

Happy Birthday, Dwayne.

Thompson on Hollywood

Thompson on Hollywood

It looks like Oscar-winners Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal may have to rethink their plans for a Osama Bin Laden assassination film. Tentatively titled Kill Bin Laden, their script was to be based on the military's failed black ops mission to capture the Al Quaeda leader. Certainly a script overhaul will enable them to include the effective Team 6 operation carried out on May Day, 2011. Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom) was the most recent actor to be attached. Among the options going forward, THR doesn't rule out Bigelow losing interest in the subject altogether, or keeping it "more or less the same." UPDATE: It turns out that Boal has been tracking the same Team 6 and is perfectly positioned to rewrite the ending in time to go into production, including the firefight--and raise plenty of coin. At this point, they have a great head start. Bin Laden's death has taken over the media in less than 24 hours; imagine what a July Fourth weekend film would do to galvanize the US box office.

[New Yorker images, Newsweek collage]

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