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FIRST LOOK: Obama not in 'Zero Dark Thirty' thriller about hunt for Osama bin Laden -- EXCLUSIVE

In this image from ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, Navy SEALs fight through a dust storm in the quest for bin Laden.
(Photo: Jonathan Olley)

It’s already the year’s most controversial movie, though almost no one knows anything about it.

Zero Dark Thirty, a chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks, began generating partisan critiques before even a frame of film was shot. Now director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal are finally opening up — though they remain extremely guarded — in their first interviews about the project.

Entertainment Weekly has the exclusive preview of the film’s teaser trailer, as well as five images from the movie, out Dec. 19. Check them out below:

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Kathryn Bigelow provided no unauthorized info for bin Laden film, says Sec. of Defense

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says no unauthorized information was provided to filmmakers producing a movie on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Panetta, the former CIA director, told the Senate Wednesday that there is a Defense Department office that works with movie producers. But he insisted that no one in the department released any unauthorized material.

Republican Rep. Peter King of New York has argued that the CIA and Pentagon jeopardized national security by cooperating too closely with director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal. The two won Academy Awards for the motion picture The Hurt Locker.

Last month, King cited documents obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act request. He said the filmmakers received “extremely close, unprecedented and potentially dangerous collaboration” from the Obama administration.

Read more:
White House gave Kathryn Bigelow access to SEAL Team 6 commander, CIA ‘vault’
Protest on Indian set of Kathryn Bigelow’s bin Laden movie: Report
Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal respond to charges of inappropriate collaboration with the White House on Bin Laden film

White House gave Kathryn Bigelow access to SEAL Team 6 commander, CIA 'vault'

In January, the Pentagon began investigating whether the White House had shared classified information with Kathryn Bigelow, director of an upcoming film about the search for Osama bin Laden. Now, conservative watchdog organization Judicial Watch has obtained records that reveal President Obama’s Defense Department did provide Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal access to high-level information and resources — including a “planner, Operator and Commander” of the Navy SEAL team that successfully captured and killed bin Laden last year.

A Department of Defense meeting transcript reveals that the filmmaker learned the identity of the SEAL Team 6 commander, but was asked never to name him as a consultant “because…he shouldn’t be talking out of school.” (The commander’s name is blacked out in Judicial Watch’s document.) According to an internal CIA email, Bigelow and Boal also gained access to “the Vault,” a CIA building where the bin Laden raid was partially planned.

All in all, Judicial Watch obtained 153 pages of records from the Department of Defense, as well as 113 pages of records from the CIA. “These documents, which took nine months and a federal lawsuit to disgorge from the Obama administration, show that politically-connected filmmakers were giving extraordinary and secret access to bin Laden raid information, including the identity of a Seal Team Six leader,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement.

House Committee on Homeland Security chair Rep. Peter King (R-NY) expressed dismay with these findings, saying in a statement that Bigelow and Boal engaged in an “extremely close, unprecedented, and potentially dangerous collaboration with top officials at the CIA, DoD, and the White House and a top Democratic lobbying firm.”

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Two more actors joining hunt for Osama bin Laden takedown movie

Two more actors will be joining the posse on bin Laden’s trail.

The Oscar-winning duo behind The Hurt Locker, director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, will soon begin shooting their film about the takedown of the elusive terrorist leader, and they’re adding a few more names to the cast, according to sources close to the film.

One is known for her grace and strength under pressure, and another for absorbing ferocious punishment…

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Kathryn Bigelow's Bin Laden drama gets December 2012 release date

Kathryn Bigelow’s still untitled drama about the search for Osama bin Laden will now be released Dec. 19. 2012, a rep for Sony confirms. Since 2008, The Hurt Locker’s Oscar-winning director and screenwriter Mark Boal have been working on a film version of the book Kill Bin Laden, which details the failed attempt to take out the Al Qaeda leader in the December 2001 battle of Tora Bora in Afghanistan. In light of the successful black ops mission last spring, the script was reworked.

Read more:
Kathryn Bigelow was already working on ‘Kill Bin Laden’ before the U.S. killed Bin Laden
Sony lands Osama bin Laden film by ‘Hurt Locker’ director Kathryn Bigelow

Oliver Stone talks 'Platoon' and Charlie Sheen on the Vietnam film's 25th anniversary -- EXCLUSIVE

When Oliver Stone returned from Vietnam, the budding filmmaker wanted to capture his harrowing wartime experiences on screen. After years of frustrating false starts with director Sidney Lumet and producer Michael Cimino (and even a very early flirtation with legendary Doors singer Jim Morrison to star), Stone finally stepped behind the camera himself for 1986’s Platoon. His gut-wrenching masterpiece, starring a young Charlie Sheen as Stone’s onscreen alter ego, wound up winning four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Platoon is being released on Blu-ray today and looks better than ever. We spoke with Stone about his revolutionary film, his fresh-faced leading man, and that strange encounter with the Lizard King.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When was the last time you saw Platoon?
OLIVER STONE: About five years ago. READ FULL STORY

Osama bin Laden: Say goodnight to the bad guy. Also, the great movie the search for him could make

It was the metaphor that hit everyone in the eye, the one that a handful of observers dared to come out and say. Yet to even think it made you feel a little crummy. It wasn’t just that the cataclysmic horror of 9/11 “looked like a movie.” It was that it looked like an over-the-top flying-metal-and-fireball action movie, the Die Hard/Jerry Bruckheimer kind, the kind that our whole culture has been addicted to since the 1980s. That perception of 9/11 as big-screen-action-disaster-gone-real, widespread though it was, seemed rather indefensible at the time, because to say it, or even to think it, risked trivializing the devastation — the human horror, the scar to our national psyche — that occurred on that terrible day. Yet 9/11, there’s almost no denying it, did live in our minds like a giant motion picture, and part of what made it so wasn’t simply the vastness, the sheer terrifying spectacle, of the tragedy. It was that behind it lay a villain of nearly mythological proportion.

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