As controversy continues to swirl around the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, reports are surfacing that Sean Penn is working on a documentary in Turkey about the Washington Post columnist and outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince.
Al Jazeera and other regional news outlets report that the two-time Oscar winner and a small crew were filming outside the Saudi embassy in Istanbul where Khashoggi last was seen alive in early October. This tweeted photo comes from the English-language version of Andolu Agency, an international news agency based in the Turkish capital of Ankara:
This one is from EHA News, whose tagline is that it’s the “place that integrates Middle East to Europe”
Penn has produced a handful of documentaries during his long career, most recently 2013’s The Human Experiment, which looks at chemicals in everyday household products. Deadline has reached out to Penn’s reps at CAA for confirmation on the new docu but has yet to hear back.
Khashoggi disappeared after walking into the Saudi consulate in Turkey to obtain a marriage license. Reports surfaced soon afterward that he was abducted, tortured, killed and dismembered by Saudi nationals on the orders of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He and his government initially denied — via President Donald Trump — any involvement in his killing but later admitted that he indeed was killed at the consulate and vowed to investigate.
U.S. intelligence, on the other hand, is convinced that bin Salman ordered and oversaw the killing. On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of senators was briefed by CIA Director Gina Haspel on the matter, and two of those pols — GOP Sens. Lindsay Graham and the retiring Bob Corker — told reporters they came away firmly believing that bin Salman was responsible for Khashoggi’s death.
Trump, meanwhile, has sided publicly with the Saudis, making comments ranging from a belief that “rogue killers” might have been behind Khashoggi’s death to saying of bin Salman, “Maybe he did it and maybe he didn’t.” And Saudi Arabia has threatened to retaliate if it is held responsible.