Sorry patriotic moviegoers, you'll have to settle for two well-financed movies about killing Osama bin Laden instead of three. Last night, Steven Spielberg's spokesman denied that either Spielberg or his DreamWorks production company are in talks to make a movie based on the upcoming book No Easy Day by Matt Bissonnette, a former Navy SEAL who participated in the raid. "Neither Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Studios or DreamWorks Television will be optioning Mark Owen's book, No Easy Day,” said spokesman Marvin Levy, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Gregg Kilday.
The denial follows a report in The New York Post Saturday that Owen (the pen name for Bissonnette) was currently in talks with Spielberg and DreamWorks as well as HBO. Levy gives no indication for why Spielberg isn't interested in the project but the denial follows a Monday report by The Associated Press' Kimberly Dozier that the book is coming under scrutiny from Pentagon and the CIA, which have just received their copies and are riffling through it in search of unauthorized disclosures of classified information. The book will not be submitted to the Defense Department prior to its Sept 11 release date, which may be a violation of Pentagon policy. Bissonnette reportedly signed a non-disclosure agreement while he served as a Navy SEAL requiring him to submit all manuscripts related to classified missions. As a result, he could face severe legal ramifications.
So what's a moviegoer to do? Oh, I don't know. You could see Zero Dark Thirty, the story of the bin Laden raid as told by Hurt Locker filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal coming out Dec. 19. But if you can't wait that long, there's always Code Name Geronimo, the John Stockwell-directed bin Laden raid movie bought by Obama booster Harvey Weinstein and rumored to be released this November ahead of the election. The one downside of Spielberg backing out of the movie is now no bin Laden movies will be released based on actual firsthand accounts of Navy SEALs who participated in the raid. And given Bissonnette's claim that his upcoming book will finally "set the record straight" about the raid, it could mean these multimillion dollars films get certain details wrong. But who cares!? The trailer for Zero Dark Thirty (below) looks awesome, right?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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