‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Trailer: The Hunt for Osama Bin Laden Is On

Published 3 years ago by , Updated March 21st, 2014 at 10:22 pm,

The new trailer for Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty paints a tense, but vague, picture of their film – which is about the decade-long manhunt for Osama bin Laden that culminated with Navy SEAL Team Six’s successful raid on the al-Qaeda head’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. We all know what the final outcome was, so the devil’s in the details.

Bigelow and Boal have been playing things close to the chest on Zero Dark Thirty, so much so that the teaser trailer was technically the first official confirmation of the film’s cast. The new promo doesn’t shed light on how the duo are compressing so much information into a coherent narrative, though it does offer a quick sketch of the more central players in the film.

Judging by the new trailer, it appears Zero Dark Thirty partially centers on the efforts of an intelligence agent played by Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain (Tree of Life, The Help), who uncovers vital information that could lead U.S. military forces to bin Laden’s secret location. However, we also glimpse important participants like Mark Strong and Kyle Chandler as fellow CIA agents, Joel and Nash Edgerton as members of SEAL Team Six, and James Gandolfini – who EW has confirmed is playing the current Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta.

Overall, according to Bigelow (via EW), there are over 100 speakings roles in Zero Dark Thirty, including “teams of operatives, from [Department of Defense], CIA, Navy SEALs, et al. that intersect with foreign nationals and enemy combatants.” So, although Chastain and Strong get the most screen time in the trailer, this is very much going to be an ensemble piece.

zero dark thirty trailer Zero Dark Thirty Trailer: The Hunt for Osama Bin Laden Is On

Jessica Chastain in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Now, as we’ve discussed in the past, there’s no doubt that Bigelow and Boal have their work cut out for them. It doesn’t matter how exhaustively they’ve researched the history behind the bin Laden manhunt – or how few liberties they take with the facts – Zero Dark Thirty is going to take a pounding from all corners of the political spectrum, with contradictory accusations about its alleged socio-political biases and fabrications flying in every direction (thank goodness the U.S. election will be over by that point).

However, few filmmakers know how to create pulse-pounding suspense and nerve-wracking thrills like Bigelow. Plus, she and Boal demonstrated they know how to create enthralling cinema together with the Best Picture-winning Hurt Locker. So, on those grounds, this movie’s easily worth recommending for anyone who’s just interested in an intense, well-acted viewing experience.

Zero Dark Thirty opens in U.S. theaters on December 19th, 2012.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers, EW

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  1. Aw man, Scott Adkins is not in the trailer. But it’s still great.

    • Yeah, I’m really interested to see his role in the film. Mostly because he’s my choice for a new Batman!

  2. Looks intense! The cast is looking great, I wanna see it :)

    • me too, the documentary was very intense. the plan was cool to fly under the radar in pacistan. they´ve made the best to kill him. so,i will watch this movie.

  3. Yeah right a true story, sounds like true bull**** to me. It did happen but this is not how it went, in fact none of us will ever know the truth or the real final outcome. Kathryn Bigelow is making a film about a theory/myth not proven facts which everyone has to understand. A film like this is called an old term known as propaganda. I won’t be seeing this film for those reasons, I would rather read an informative history book than sit through this bland copy and paste material I could watch on CNN any day I want too.

    • Actually she had been working on this film for awhile, and it was shaping up to be more Call of Duty-like. But then when news came out about Osama’s death, she had to rework some stuff.

      The woman in the movie is real, she had been suggesting we learn more from the courier- only 3 detainees were tortured and all 3 of them gave up some pretty good info which helped knock down other attacks while Bush was president, but also lead them to where Osama was, where they watched to learn the patterns and who comes and goes, for a LONG TIME. They then began doing drills on how the mission should go, and when all was put together they presented info to the president, which now happened to be Obama, and he reluctantly ok’ed the mission. Hilary Clinton pushed him to do it- because his closest staffer Valerie Gerod did NOT want him to OK it.


  4. Oks great to me

  5. Wont be watching this because there was no reporter on the raid!

    • She isn’t reporter, she is an intelligence analyst.. Read “No easy day”.

      • Um i have it in my email just had time!

      • Read no easy day, find this :”stuff” soooooooo very exciting n hard to not follow. Hurt locker was amazing so I can only imagine how great this movie is.

  6. it’s funny how the world invades the middle east, killing innocents in cross fire (or out of sheer mental retardation) and yet the middle easterners are the terrorists… good old american/english influence.

    the day someone makes a movie where the good guys are the mi8ddle easterners and not the americans will be the day i go to the cinemas for a war movie, until then all these bs war movies are either american propaganda or unrealistic trash (more or less the same thing).

    • Definitely a true story and very much anticipated! It did happen like this and this is how it went, in fact this is the truth and the final outcome. Kathryn Bigelow is making a film about proven facts which everyone has to understand. A film like this is definitely not propaganda. I will be seeing this film for those reasons, it will be equal to an informative history book!

      • Ph my god I finally have my very own fan of my opinions! I can’t believe it, if this continues I can become famous, my name could become a phenomenon everywhere! Oh my god I am so excited thank you my true fan!

    • jwalka…educate yourself and learn some history. So you want the good guys to be the Middle Easterners?! Not even liberal Hollywood would glorify the terror attacks that precipitated the wars there. Feel free to move there and live under Sharia law, if that is what you deem just and true.

    • @jwalka: I highly doubt you’ll ever see a movie where the al qaeda terrorist group is considered the good guys – however if you’re looking for one where there’s some middle eastern perspective, I’d recommend The Kingdom with Jamie fox. Btw – its silly to call both sides terrorists when innocents get caught in the crossfire of a war. I don’t know if you simply do not know the definition of ‘terrorism’ or if you really think that no other war in the history of the world has had civilian casualties, but either way I think you are generalizing to an extreme degree. Because most of the locals in the middle east do not support al qaeda. That is the type of thinking that leads to hate crimes… so idk maybe do a little research on what qualifies as terrorism and the difference between middle eastern civilians vs al qaeda terrorists.

    • Have you ever been out of the U.S.? I doubt it from your uneducated comment. If you do not like “the world,” and the U.S. for invading the Middle East then move there.

  7. Lame concept

  8. The idea of this movie is incredibly stupid and in bad taste. Only Hollywood would allow something so asinine.

    • Alex…

      Okay, I HAVE to ask…WHY is THIS idea so stupid, but that S.E.A.L. team film ( I believe it was about that particular group…don’t recall the title) that came out months ago was not? Why is THIS one in poor taste, but the other one was praised as a great and worthy…even as people admitted it was not a particularly well-made film in terms of movie-making (though extremely accurate)?

      Before I get attacked, I did not see that one and am not planning to see this one. I’m not personally judging either one. I am NOT trying to provoke a reaction nor troll in ANY manner. I really AM curious why you commented the way you did. From what little I’ve seen of this coming film, it seems that it will celebrate a great military and PR victory for Americans. His comment did not seem connected specifically to politics like so many other reactions have. I merely wish to understand the WHY of your comment…

      • ‘Act of Valour’ was slated and seen as nothing more than a recruitment video!

        I agree with Alex, i think this is a terrible idea considering how very little is known about what went on and the governments typical stand on the subject ‘trust us we got him’

        where’s the body? Buried at sea! Oh ok then, thanks America!

        Archeon always has to right these OVER emphasised rants ASKING questions that nobody cares about!

        Alex commented and what he sees, end of, if you don’t like it, SCROLL down!

        Plus if you are going to take the time out to criticise someone the least you could do is google the name of the movie you are talking about, CAPS lock boy!

        • “if you don’t like it, SCROLL down!”
          Would this apply to your statement as well?

          • Well yeah

            • facepalm

              • Haha big time

        • I have to ask the ScreenRant staff: Why does Noisewater get to obnoxiously insult me (especially after not even having READ my post so as to have ANY clue what he’s talking about), but MY response to him (in which, by the way, I did NOT insult him but DID call him out on his idiocy) is removed???

          Please, DO tell.

      • Actually its SEAL Team not S.E.A.L. Team, and because this is propaganda from the same people that brought us the Hurt Locker. The movie was called Act of Valor! And the fact Act of Valor had actual Operators.

        • Fine, I shouldn’t have put the periods for “Sea, Air, and Land”. Great. The ACTUAL point was that the older film was enjoyed by those who felt proud of the American military. WHY would Americans not feel proud about THIS mission which, while portrayed on film by actors as opposed to Navy SEALs, still seemed to be a point of deep pride?

          I neither love nor hate either film…I merely wished to know what (besides the actors involved) made one popular and the other the seeming object of scorn?

          Oh, and, Noisewater’s asinine blathering aside, a number of people pointed out that the older film DID indeed originate as a recruitment film; others indicated that this film my just be positive spin for the current administration. Why is one better than the other?

            • Why be smart with Archaeon? He’s one of the good guys on this site.

              • Thimmy…

                Thank you.

            • Noisewater…

              Since I doubt that the removed statement will be replaced (though it did express perfectly what you needed to hear), I’ll just say this to you:

              Grow up. Educate yourself (“What does asinine mean?” Really? Sad).

              I’ve said my piece…you’re simply not worth anymore of my time or effeort.

              • *effort

                • Again as stated below I apologise

                • Archaeon – I apologise, I really don’t want to start a war of words on my favourite website, I’m a sarcastic douche at times and don’t always think before I speak, banter never translates well and that was my only intention, sorry to have offended you

                  • Kenneth…

                    Thank you. I appreciate that.

                    For the record, I really was not trying to be a smart-ass with my question to Alex; I don’t watch a lot of military films, and I actually was curious about the perceived differences.

                    I, too, have no desire to fight or get into any sort of pissing contest with anyone, so I’m glad we can both move on and get back to the point of this site: movie watching (and our common interest in such).

                    I apologize for my own reactions to your comments.

                    As far as I’m concerned, we’re good.

                    • Jerk! :)i

            • Jerk! :)

              • Ummm…ok???

      • Remember when a movie based on real life was something from long ago?
        Now we make movies a year later about real life events.
        9/11 had a movie only three years later and several others about it that followed soon after.

        Now we’re making a film about Osama???

        Where does it nd?

        What’s next?

        A movie about the shootings at that kindergarten in Cincinati??

        Give me a break!

    • So should we continue to apologize and cower to those “offended”, then?! How is it pretty much everything else in this world can be subject to ridicule, except Islam and its operatives? For every article, speech, or video that causes them to riot and act like animals, we should produce 100 more, until they learn to become civilized and tolerate the opinions (which admittedly often includes the foolishness) of others. I’d rather stand with the fool who offends another than with the fool who would murder another for it.

      • i haven´t understand your question ? what i´ve said is that the security in afghan or arabian cinemas are not so good,like our standards. and that the dead terrorist bin laden is nothing as crap,maybe some terrorists are cryin after him,but the most of the islamic world is happy that he is death. and,i speak for me and the turkish people ,we don´t give a f..k on bin laden and al queida. so i don´t understand why you are turning the words in my mouth, if you mean the stupid prophet videos it´s small things like this that makes them angry. it´s in the arabic culture,but not in mine. so,i tell you just how they tick in their hands.

        • not hands- heads

        • My comment was in response to “ios”, not you merdan.

          • oh, alright. -missunderstood- :)

  9. The political pundits jump all over one of the soldiers involved in the killing of Bin Laden for telling his first-hand account about it in a book, but Hollywood can make a movie out of it with the help (information from) the Obama administration, and it’s okay. Hypocrisy at its finest.

    • I like you…

  10. I have read No easy Day, and There are a number of scenes in this trailer that are identically described in the book, not sure if the producers corroborated with author or not. but looks very interesting.

  11. I love Bigelow, Point Break and The Hurt Locker are two of my favourite films but I feel this subject matter is too far out there!

    We never saw a body for a start!

    I’d rather see a fictional account of a similar situation with made up characters, rather than a ‘based on actual events’ style movie, I always find true stories and the like are tedious, over blown and extremely one sided!

    See Syrianna, The Kingdom or at a push Navy Seals for good examples, movies should remain fictional and leave real events to the Discovery channel

    • Yes I agree with dr kenneth. Movies should only cater to what he wants to see. Its unfair that studios force him to pay to see these kinds of movies.

      • It is unfair, do they not know who i am?!

        Think I’m going to eat my words because Argo looks pretty decent!

      • Yes, Pharaoh…how true. Lord Noise should always get what his obnoxious little mind and heart desire…

  12. i´ve write those things because of the thema-terrorism- in the movie. so that was my last political statement and opinion. i won´t write more about this thema or discuss about it. :)

  13. Thought I spotted Chris Pratt from Parks & Rec in there too.

  14. sorry to the screenrant-team, my text which you´ve deleted was a little bit too much politic statement. so, no offense. :)