Last year, Kathryn Bigelow signed on to direct The True American and an untitled Bowe Bergdahl picture. These were in addition to her long-gestating film about the South American drug trade, Triple Frontier. Deadline now reports that the Bergdahl story has taken first position on the director’s schedule.
We reported in June that Bigelow and her Zero Dark Thirty writer Mark Boal would be tackling the story of Bergdahl, an America soldier who left his Army base, was captured by the Taliban, and then tortured and held prisoner for five years. Bergdahl’s release as part of a prisoner exchange became clouded with controversy as the soldier deserted his unit after becoming disillusioned with America’s presence in Afghanistan. It’s a rich story, and while it’s still ongoing, Bigelow and Boal have been tracking it for years.
Deadline reports that Zero Dark Thirty producer Megan Ellison will back the picture, and studios are expected to “start jumping immediately, if they aren’t on it already.”
In my article about American Sniper‘s box office success, I noted that studios are now hungry for military memoirs. However, it has to be the kind that plays into hero worship and simple conflicts. Bigelow doesn’t do that. As I said in my review of American Sniper, Eastwood’s film plays like a dumb version of Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker.
While I’m excited to see what Bigelow and Boal put together for their Bergdahl movie, I’m also a little bummed that Triple Frontier will remain on the backburner. When we last reported on the film in December 2012, Paramount had balked at the $80 million price tag, especially after Bigelow refused to cast Will Smith. Deadline reports that Bigelow hasn’t dropped out of the movie, but she’s pushed it to the side.
But as long as Bigelow keeps making complex films geared towards adults, I’m happy.