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Tag: Mark Boal (1-10 of 12)

Kathryn Bigelow and Todd Field line up rival Bowe Bergdahl movie projects

Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has been free for less than three weeks, but two major Hollywood filmmakers are already prepping movies about his controversial service in Afghanistan and the five years he was held captive by the Taliban. Todd Field (Little Children) will adapt the late Michael Hasting’s story about Bergdahl, “America’s Last Prisoner of War,” which ran in Rolling Stone magazine in 2012. A rep for Field confirmed that the Oscar-nominated filmmaker will produce and direct it for Fox Searchlight.

Meanwhile, Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal are also developing a Bergdahl project. The two creative collaborators, who also made the Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, would produce along with Megan Ellison, with Boal also writing the script. Bigelow, who already has another politically-charged post-9/11 fact-based tale to tell, True American, is not currently considering this is a project to direct. It is unclear what Boal’s script will be based upon; according to TIME, neither project has Bergdahl’s “life rights.” READ FULL STORY

Senate committee shuts down 'Zero Dark Thirty' probe

*This story has been updated to reflect Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s statement.

A day after the Academy Awards failed to recognize Zero Dark Thirty with any major awards — and nearly seven weeks after snubbing director Kathryn Bigelow altogether — the U.S. Senate closed its investigation into “inappropriate” meetings and conversations that Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal may have had with members of the CIA to research their movie, which tells the story of the secret American effort to track and kill Osama bin Laden. Reuters cited an anonymous congressional aide who said the Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), would not seek further action against the filmmakers, who came under fire in early 2012 when it was revealed they had close contact with several government agencies.

Zero Dark Thirty has been a lightning rod for controversy since even before it opened on Dec. 19. READ FULL STORY

'Zero Dark Thirty' writer Mark Boal says U.S. torture was 'dead wrong'

prize_fighter1_banner“Disruptive filmmaking.”

That’s a new term coined by Zero Dark Thirty screenwriter Mark Boal, who gave a speech this week about the criticism the Osama bin Laden takedown drama has endured from both sides of the political divide in America.

Conservatives complained long before the film was seen by anyone that it was a propaganda designed to highlight the anti-terror accomplishments of President Barack Obama, while some liberals were rankled by what they perceived to be an endorsement of torture interrogations (erroneously, as Michael Moore points out in this essay debunking those accusations.)

Director Kathryn Bigelow has already said numerous times that “depiction is not endorsement,” and now Boal — who is nominated in the Original Screenplay category at the Oscars, and won for penning 2009′s The Hurt Locker — is speaking out about why he wanted Zero Dark Thirty to strike a nerve as a film, rather than as a piece of traditional reporting. READ FULL STORY

Senators accuse 'Zero Dark Thirty' of being 'grossly inaccurate and misleading' about torture

Art and politics, two worlds that generally don’t know all that much about each other, have come to an angry head-on collision in the continuing debate over the portrayal of torture in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. Most recently, three senior U.S. senators have called the film “grossly inaccurate and misleading” in a letter to Sony Pictures chairman and CEO Michael Lynton. In the missive, Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is joined by her colleagues John McCain and Carl Levin in condemning the film’s depiction of the CIA’s “coercive interrogation techniques” as contributive to the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden, which they contend is “perpetuating the myth that torture is effective.” (The full text of the letter can be read here.) READ FULL STORY

'Zero Dark Thirty' torture controversy: 'Everything we did has been misinterpreted,' says writer

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Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal directly addressed the ongoing controversy over their film’s treatment of C.I.A enhanced-interrogation techniques in an interview with The Wrap. “Everything we did has been misinterpreted, and continues to be,” Boal said, responding to charges that the film glorifies torture.

“The movie has been, and probably will continue to be, put in political boxes,” said Boal. “Before we even wrote it, it was [branded] an Obama campaign commercial, which was preposterous. And now it’s pro-torture, which is preposterous. We haven’t really talked about that, but I want to start.” READ FULL STORY

'Zero Dark Thirty' premiere: Kathryn Bigelow and co. address waterboarding controversy

Zero Dark Thirty is an Oscar frontrunner, but what would Oscar season be without a dash of politics? In the taut thriller about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, screenwriter Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow depict the American use of waterboarding leading to a suspect revealing crucial information. But the New Yorker has cast doubt on the veracity of that specific scene, citing government officials who claim that waterboarding — a controversial tactic that many consider torture — played no role in yielding useful evidence in that situation or ultimately helped the C.I.A. locate bin Laden’s hideout.

Boal, a former journalist, has defending the decision, arguing that “it’s a movie, not a documentary,” and the film’s main principals stood behind their work at last night’s Los Angeles premiere. “We had to compress a very complicated debate and a 10-year period into two hours,” Boal said. “It doesn’t surprise me that people bring political agendas to the film but it doesn’t actually have a political agenda. Its agenda is to tell these people’s stories in the most honest and factual way we know how, based on a ton of interviews and research.” READ FULL STORY

Controversy builds over 'Zero Dark Thirty' interrogation scenes

Kathryn Bigelow’s hunt-for-bin Laden movie Zero Dark Thirty (out in select theaters Dec. 19) doesn’t flinch when it comes to depicting various “enhanced interrogation” tactics, including waterboarding and other hard-to-watch techniques. In the film, C.I.A. agents Maya (Jessica Chastain) and Dan (Jason Clarke) engage in extended harsh sessions in order to extract crucial information that eventually leads to Osama bin Laden’s location.

But now some people are questioning the film’s treatment of those scenes. In a column in yesterday’s New York Times, Frank Bruni pointed out that the idea that those sorts of tactics produced crucial information is “hardly a universally accepted version of events,” noting “many experts’ belief that torture is unnecessary, yielding as much bad information as good.” And in this week’s New Yorker, former New York Times war correspondent Dexter Filkins writes that the film “appears to have strayed from real life. According to several official sources, including Dianne Feinstein, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the identity of bin Laden’s courier, whose trail led the C.I.A. to the hideout in Pakistan, was not discovered through waterboarding.” READ FULL STORY

'Zero Dark Thirty' team says they might still make earlier, scrapped Osama bin Laden film -- EXCLUSIVE

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Image Credit: Jonathan Olley

Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow and producer/writer Mark Boal tell EW that they could still return to an earlier hunt-for-Osama bin Laden movie that they had abandoned after the terrorist was killed in 2011. The duo behind Oscar-winning 2010 movie The Hurt Locker say they aren't sure what their next project will be, or even if they'll definitely continue to collaborate ("I hope so," says Bigelow). But they won't rule out the idea of returning to the previous movie at some point. Asked if reviving the film as a sort of ZDT prequel was a possibility, Boal responded, "Yeah, I think so. Why not? But I think the last thing [either of us]

wants to do right now is talk about making another movie.” Bigelow, too, says she would “possibly” be interested in finishing the project.

READ FULL STORY

'Zero Dark Thirty': James Gandolfini's secret role revealed -- EXCLUSIVE

The makers of Zero Dark Thirty have been holding on to some top secret information of their own.

While most of of the ensemble cast of the Osama bin Laden takedown film is already known, The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal have been keeping one important bit of casting news hush-hush for months.

James Gandolfini will appear as one of the highest-ranking government figures featured in the film — Leon Panetta, the current Secretary of Defense, who was head of the CIA when bin Laden was found and killed.

There’s a too-easy joke to be made here: How awesome is it that Tony Soprano is involved in the effort to whack Osama? READ FULL STORY

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