By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood June 14, 2012 at 12:31PM
Update- Seems like the reports of the completion of filming Kathryn Bigelow's follow-up to her Oscar winning film, The Hurt Locker were a bit premature. I am now told that production of has moved to London. The film which is now called Zero Dark Thirty tells the story of the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden. What is interesting is while this will clearly be a thriller with lots of war elements like The Hurt Locker, this film actually has female characters in it. The female cast members include Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Ehle and newly crowned Tony winner Nina Arianda. I have no idea if their parts are significant in any way but at least they exist in this film since there were no women in The Hurt Locker.
The film is already getting some buzz and has stirred up a national security controversy where the filmakers have been accused of receiving classified information from the Obama administration on the Bin Laden raid. Republican Representative Peter King says that national security has been breached. It's gotten so heated that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had to issue a statement that no classified information was divulged.
Just to note that there is an office at the Defense Department that works with films and just recently the Navy worked with the team that made the film Battleship.
Here's why Women and Hollywood is going to be tracking this film very carefully -- because there has never been a female best director winner who released a follow-up film. Period. So Bigelow is going to rightfully be in the Oscar hunt from the get go because she is an Oscar winner. That means that we will have a woman director in the Oscar conversation. When you have a woman who has won an Oscar (which we have never had before) it will surely change the conversation.
In a change from her last film, Zero Dark Thirty already has domestic and international distribution deals already secured from major studios -- Columbia in the US, and Universal overseas. I am wondering if the film will even be ready to go to film festivals in the fall or if they will hold it for a big roll it out in December.
I am also curious as to how they will use her Oscar in the marketing. I want to see how politics play into this. There are so many fascinating things going on already and the movie just finished filming two weeks ago. This is going to be fun.