When the project was announced, it sparked accusations that President Barack Obama was compromising national security by granting "improper access to classified material for the still-untitled bin Laden movie," according to a New York Times report at the time. Bigelow denied any favoritism on the part of the Obama administration in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter along with "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Hurt Locker" screenwriter Mark Boal. When the film was finally slated for a release in October 2012, critics charged that it was intended as jingoistic propoganda to support Obama's re-election in November. So the film deferred its release date until the month after the election.
All of this can only help a movie based on the hunt and eventual killing of Osama Bin Laden—a man whose life has gripped America's collective imagination since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The trailer promises to show viewers how "the story you think you know" actually happened. And given Bigelow's pedigree as one of the rare filmmakers that's been able to make gripping and critically acclaimed Hollywood films about America's recent military ventures, it's fair to say this will probably turn out better than an iconoclast like Oliver Stone's attempts to capture recent history so prematurely (see: "W").
"Zero Dark Thirty" will arrive in theaters Dec. 19. Watch the trailer below.