The latest trailer for “Zero Dark Thirty” has stirred excitement for the highly anticipated film.
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by former war journalist Mark Boal, the film aims to uncover the mysteries surrounding the SEAL Team Six operation that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Bigelow and Boal previously collaborated on the 2008 Iraq War film “The Hurt Locker,” which earned Oscars for Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture.
1. “Zero Dark Thirty” Refers To A Military Term
The film’s title may be puzzling to some, but according to Bigelow, it is both a literal and metaphorical military reference.
“It’s a military term for 30 minutes after midnight, and it refers also to the darkness and secrecy that cloaked the entire decade-long mission,” Bigelow told Entertainment Weekly.
2. Political Stances Are Kept At Bay
Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker,” about an explosive ordnance disposal team in Iraq, refrained from displaying a political agenda. Remarkably, “Zero Dark Thirty” does the same. President Obama reportedly does not appear in the film’s narrative.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film is scheduled for a Dec. 19 release, to avoid it appearing as trying to have any kind of influence on the 2012 Presidential election.
3. Bin Laden Was Killed During Pre-Production
Originally developed under the working title “Kill bin Laden,” the film was already well into pre-production when bin Laden was killed on May 2, 2011. According to Screen Rant, Boal’s script initially focused on the unsuccessful hunt for the al Qaeda leader. Following his death, the script was quickly reworked.
4. Some Were Outraged At The Film’s Shooting Location
It’s no surprise that the “Zero Dark Thirty” production team was denied permission to shoot in Pakistan. As an alternative, filming took place in Chandigarh, India -- which didn’t sit well with the city’s residents. According to Reuters, conservative Hindus protested the choice to use India as a stand-in for a country that they consider an enemy.
Vijay Bhardwaj, leader of the Hindu group Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), expressed his opposition in a statement.
"They have made Chandigarh like Pakistan, as if it is Pakistan," said Bhardwaj. "We strongly oppose this and we will not let them put Pakistani flags here and we will not let them shoot for the film."
Despite the impassioned stance that some took, Reuters noted that the protest was relatively small and did not affect the film’s shoot.
5. There’s Controversy Surrounding Confidential Information In The Film
In Jan. 2012, The Wrap reported that Judicial Watch filed a complaint against the DoD and the CIA for allegedly leaking controversial information to the “Zero Dark Thirty” team.
In a July speech to Veterans of Foreign Wars, Mitt Romney condemned those who collaborated with the filmmakers.
"This conduct is contemptible. It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field,” Romney said. “Whoever provided classified information to the media, seeking political advantage for the administration, must be exposed, dismissed and punished. The time for stonewalling is over.”
“Zero Dark Thirty,” which has been the subject of major Oscar talk, stars Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Edgar Ramire, Mark Strong and James Gandolfini. It is scheduled to hit theaters on Dec. 19.