Osama manhunt film based on vivid firsthand accounts
The Osama bin Laden raid, which led to the death of the world's most wanted terrorist leader, was the subject of 'Zero Dark Thirty', a riveting new film by director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, is based on controversial firsthand accounts.
But when they began making the film about the hunt for bin Laden six years ago, the movie they had in mind was about the failed attempt of finding the terrorist in Afghanistan.
According to ABC News, that plan changed drastically on May 1, 2011 when bin Laden was killed. Boal, a meticulous investigative reporter, picked up the phone and started working his sources.
"It was a thrilling journey to go on and also thrilling to discover what the people who were involved in this mission were really like," Boal said.
In an exclusive interview with 'Nightline', Bigelow and Boal talked about bringing 'Zero Dark Thirty' to the screen based on Boal's interviews and Bigelow's dramatic vision, the report said.
"It was all based on first hands accounts so it really felt very vivid and very vital and very, very immediate and visceral of course which is very exciting as a film maker," Bigelow said.
Bigelow said she and Boal were working in his office when they heard President Barack Obama's announcement that the United States had "conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden."
"It was a personal moment for me because I grew up in New York City," Boal said, adding: "I think for a lot of people, just kind of an overwhelming moment."
All of a sudden, Bigelow said it put their project in a very different perspective.
"It was not just as a film concern, it was kind of a global concern," she said, adding: "We both realized simultaneously that we had to pivot."
"I picked up the phone and started calling sources and asking them what they knew and taking referrals and knocking on doors and really approached it as comprehensively as I could," Boal said.
Almost immediately, the filmmakers found themselves in the middle of an election year firestorm, accused of receiving classified documents to bolster the president's role, something they both have denied, the report said.
"I certainly did a lot of homework, but I never asked for classified material," Boal said, adding: "To my knowledge I never received any."
In fact, Obama makes only a fleeting appearance in the film.
The star of this real-life drama is, surprisingly, a young female CIA officer, played by Jessica Chastain, who helps find bin Laden through a long-forgotten courier.