Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden assassination film has been strategically positioned for next year’s Oscars — a slot, incidentally, that could help tilt some influence in the 2012 presidential elections.
When bin Laden was killed, Boal and Bigelow were well along on a project called Killing Bin Laden, about the so-far unsuccessful attempt to kill the mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks. It immediately became the hottest project in town, and Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Films banner agreed to fund the film. Buyers materialized during the Cannes Film Festival even as Boal was rewriting the script to reflect a most satisfying third act. Deadline broke news around that time that Sony signed on as distributor. They’ve kept details close to the vest even as thesps like Warrior’s Joel Edgerton were rumored to be taking part. (Deadline)
Vanity Fair asks, “Could Kathryn Bigelow’s Osama bin Laden Movie Be the 2012 Election’s October Surprise?”
In terms of publicity and rollout, Sony Pictures “is using a strategy similar to the one employed on The Social Network.” Let’s assume the film is a huge hit: Bigelow is not too far removed from her 2009 Oscar win, and interest in seeing the death of bin Laden is, as we know, appreciable. If the “Barack Obama” character is portrayed as a strong leader whose military savvy wrought great success and security, it could improve the president’s image among audience members. It might even convert some undecideds.
Some might say a voter who could be swayed by such October Surprise tactics has a fuzzy view of the political landscape. I’d argue that’s pretty obvious if it’s a voter who’s ‘undecided’ about handing over the country to reckless Tea Party panderers.