EXCLUSIVE: While the Republicans keep kicking Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s Bin Laden movie around like a political football, Annapurna Pictures and Sony Pictures are ready to get the mission underway. I’m told that Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong and Edgar Ramirez are circling to join the previously discussed ensemble cast of Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt.
The drama portrays Navy SEAL Team 6’s long hunt for the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Osama Bin Laden was finally killed in a covert mission last year. Reports today assert that the Pentagon will investigate charges made by Rep Peter King that Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker tandem Bigelow and Boal somehow got inside information about the mission from the Obama Administration in preparing the script. This saber rattling hasn’t affected the film’s progress: the script is now finished and the film is going forward. Sony Pictures has dated the film for release on December 19, deliberately steering clear of the Presidential Elections.
The prospect of Chastain joining the Bin Laden film has cast doubt on whether she will star alongside Tom Cruise in Universal’s Oblivion, which shoots in March. They apparently are trying to work out dates, but two informed sources tell me it looks dicey at the moment that she’ll do Oblivion. Chastain, who today was announced as star of a revival of The Heiress on Broadway, last year starred in Tree of Life, The Help, Take Shelter and The Debt. Strong just starred in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the upcoming John Carter while Ramirez starred in Carlos and The Bourne Ultimatum and next stars in Wrath of the Titans. All three are repped by CAA.