2011 was a good year for Kyle Chandler, between his finally winning an Emmy for his fan-favorite role as Coach Eric Taylor on Friday Night Lights and the success of J.J. Abrams' Super 8, which Chandler starred in. It looks like 2012 should be another excellent year for the actor, thanks to his upcoming turn as former Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan in the Ben Affleck-directed CIA thriller Argo - and a part as a CIA operative in Kathryn Bigelow's impending Black Ops thriller.
Bigelow is reuniting with Oscar-winning screenwriter Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) on this new project, which has incited lots of buzz - both negative and positive - seeing how it partially deals with the search for (and eventual killing of) infamous al-Qaeda figurehead Osama bin Laden - hence, the currently-untitled film being referred to as Kill bin Laden early on in development.
In its scoop on Chandler joining Bigelow's new film, Deadline points out that none of the critically-acclaimed actors and actresses already revealed as onboard have been officially confirmed at this point. Whether or not that has anything to do with the controversy surrounding the project - due to claims that Bigelow and Boal were provided "classified" information about the killing of bin Laden by the Obama administration - is not clear.
Boal's screenplay revolves in part around Navy SEAL Team 6's longtime hunt for bin Laden, but it's previously been said that plot element is not the central focus of the film. The implication seems to be that Bigelow's movie will largely examine the dangerous nature of the Team's work, as well as the "red tape" issues that infringed their search - with the original script draft's ending having (obviously) been retooled, in light of recent events.
Production on the film is still slated to be getting underway in the very near future, so it can reach theaters before the end of 2012. However, similar to Steven Spielberg's Lincoln biopic, Bigelow's project won't be arriving until after the impending U.S. presidential election - so that it avoids being branded as "political fodder" and used in any of the candidates' campaigns.
Passing over complaints about the accuracy of operation tactics portrayed in The Hurt Locker, there's no denying that the Oscar-winning film is an intensely-shot and nerve-rattling work that offers a terse look at the life-threatening situations active military personnel often face on a daily basis. There's little reason to doubt that Bigelow and Boal's new team effort will likewise be successful, in offering a similar experience.
That screenwriter-director pair also have the benefit of hindsight to help correct any mistakes made on their previous collaboration - not to mention, another overall great cast to work with. If nothing else, the idea that the filmmakers have been privy to detailed insider information about the hunt for a notorious terrorist suggests they could offer a more factual portrayal of the truth behind the story.
Bigelow's Osama bin Laden thriller is currently scheduled to hit U.S. theaters on December 19th, 2012. We will let you know if that changes.
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