Kathryn Bigelow’s bin Laden Movie–And Everyone Else’s

By Alyssa Rosenberg

As the details of the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden, it was inevitable that somebody would observe (as many people did), that the operation was going to make a really fantastic action movie. Such a movie would be really hard to get right: it could easily be a cheap action picture, when this coda to the brokenness of our last ten years deserves a profound piece of art.

Fortunately, Kathryn Bigelow, who is responsible for The Hurt Locker, an Iraq war movie that’s both profoundly moral and tremendously gripping, is already working on a project with the working title of Kill bin Laden. Her Hurt Locker collaborator, Mark Boal, who also wrote the magazine story that formed the basis for In the Valley of Elah, is working on the movie with her. The project is actually about an earlier American attempt to capture bin Laden that failed, but The Hollywood Reporter notes that Boal and Bigelow are mulling a change in direction.

I hope they do, and that they take on the raid holistically (though maybe not too ensemble-y — we don’t need a Crash for the War on Terror). Bigelow’s great at the awful tension of conflict:

But she can also do emotions that are quiet but no less emphatic for being quiet:

There is going to be a movie about bin Laden’s death, that’s not even really a question. I’d like to see two people with a broad perspective on what the last ten years have cost us in human terms to set the standards for everything else that follows.