Kathryn Bigelow directed the 2010 Best Picture Oscar-winning war film, The Hurt Locker, and she’s returning to the deserts of the Middle East (narratively speaking) with her upcoming film Zero Dark Thirty, which used to fly under the more controversial title of Kill Bin Laden. Three guesses what the movie is about.

Today’s Zero Dark Thirty trailer is but a tease of what Bigelow and her Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal have in store, but even that tease paints a pretty tense picture of what could be another award-contending modern military thriller.

Zero Dark Thirty tells the tale of Navy SEAL Team 6’s mission to locate and eliminate infamous terrorist Osama Bin Laden, and is said to have been contributed to by those who were actually present for the events depicted in the film.

The movie brings with it an impressive cast to go along with its Oscar-winning writer/director team: faces and names you will recognize include Joel Edgerton (The Thing) in the lead, alongside Mark Strong (Green Lantern), Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), Jessica Chastain (The Vow), Jennifer Ehle (Contagion), Harold Perrineau (Lost), action star Scott Adkins (Expendables 2),  Edgar Ramírez (Wrath of the Titans), Frank Grillo (The Grey), Stephen Dillane (Game of Thrones) – and even funny men like Chris Platt (Park and Recreation) and Mark Duplass (The League) stepping into dramatic roles. An eclectic ensemble, yes, but one that could really come together to impress viewers and critics alike.

SEAL Team 6 in 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Despite her many awards, Bieglow’s work on The Hurt Locker is still often criticized by hardcore military enthusiasts (and/or actual vets) in regards to her lack of accuracy when it came to military procedure, tactics, equipment, and weaponry. That’s all to say: Zero Dark Thirty – which is based on a pretty recent current event that still carries a lot of political charge – will be under even more intense scrutiny than Bigelow’s last film. Hopefully she and Boal have crossed all “t’s” and dotted all “i’s” – although, even if they have, we’re fairly certain this film will be cause for all kinds of debate when it enters the cultural zeitgeist.

For more on the film – including an interview with Boal – be sure to head over to EW.

Zero Dark Thirty‘s December 19, 2012 release date will at least spare us all any Internet riots about the film being released as propaganda for the upcoming U.S. presidential election – and for that small favor, I think we can all be thankful.

Source: EW