Joel Edgerton is far from a household name, but the 36-year-old alumnus of films like Smokin' Aces and the Star Wars prequels has been up for some big roles lately. He's recently been reported as a significant contender to star in upcoming tentpole pics like The Bourne Legacy, The Hunger Games, and Snow White and the Huntsman, among others.
Now Edgerton has instead signed on for Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow's new dramatic thriller: a currently untitled project based on a real-life operation to hunt down al-Qaeda terrorist head Osama Bin Laden - tentatively referred to as Kill Bin Laden (though, given recent events, it's unlikely that one is going to stick).
24 Frames has the scoop on Edgerton joining Bigelow's Kill Bin Laden project, which reunites her with the Oscar-winning producer/screenwriter behind The Hurt Locker, Mark Boal. The film was previously being devised as a low-budget indie production, but Bin Laden's recent death has made it all the more of a high-profile effort - and word is that Boal's script is currently being revised and updated to incorporate the news, despite Bigelow's previous assertions that "this movie isn't specifically about [Bin Laden]."
Edgerton is in a good position to really benefit from starring in Bigelow's film as a special operative that leads the search for the notorious terrorist leader. Recall that Jeremy Renner's role in The Hurt Locker catapulted the actor into the spotlight and made him one of the more (if not the most) in-demand stars currently working in the biz. That's not to say that Edgerton stands to gain the same career boost that Renner received, but this new role certainly won't hinder his appeal.
UPDATE: It would seem that Jason Clarke has actually signed on for the lead role previously thought to belong to Edgerton.
Bigelow and Boal's latest collaboration - one that is slated to begin production before another of their upcoming joint efforts, Triple Frontier - promises to be a white-knuckle thriller in the vein of Hurt Locker and just about every other film on Bigelow's directorial resume (see: Blue Steel, Point Break, etc.). The factuality of the pair's Best Picture-winning Iraq War drama has been called into question before - and was re-ignited the last time I wrote about Bigelow's Bin Laden project - but there's no denying that the duo knows how to create an engaging international action-thriller.
It will be interesting to see how much of this film specifically does revolve around Osama Bin Laden in general. I suspect Bigelow and Boal aren't planning a gritty docudrama (a la Paul Greengrass' United 93) that attempts to recreate the real-life search for the terrorist leader in an non-romanticized fashion, but more a vivid thrill ride that focuses on the soldiers and operatives that were involved with the mission - much like The Hurt Locker, basically. Take that as you will.
This Bin Laden project almost certainly won't be a blockbuster smash; if nothing else, just about every film released in recent years that dealt with modern-day warfare and/or the battle against terrorism (including Hurt Locker, United 93, Green Zone, In the Valley of Elah, etc.) could be cited as evidence that pics of this nature have limited box office appeal. Still, this could be one to keep an eye out for, especially around awards season next year.
Production on Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden project is expected to begin this summer.
Source: LA Times