Steven Spielberg Is Not Making an Osama bin Laden Movie (Update)

Steven Spielberg Is Not Making an Osama bin Laden Movie (Update)

Aug 28, 2012

Update 8/28/12: Spielberg spokesman Marvin Levy has issued a statement denying Spielberg and DreamWorks' involvement in adapting Mark Owen's No Easy Day into a movie. He says, "Neither Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Studios or DreamWorks Television will be optioning Mark Owen’s book No Easy Day."

See our original story below for more on the book, which may still hit the big screen at some point, just not via Spielberg. [The Wrap]

8/27/12: In December, we'll get a look at Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow's bin Laden tale, Zero Dark Thirty. Scott Adkins, Joel Edgerton, Jessica Chastain and Taylor Kinney will help tell the story of the decade-long hunt for the terrorist leader. Another film about the al-Qaeda organizer is on the horizon as well, and talks are already underway with Steven Spielberg.

Former Navy SEAL and No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden author Mark Owen — whose real name is Matt Bissonnette — may see his story turned into an action film, while simultaneously facing prosecution for "revealing sensitive and classified information that could cause U.S. forces harm," the New York Post reported. In a grossly gimmicky move, the book hits stores on September 11, but in the meantime, Bissonnette has apparently been chatting with DreamWorks and Spielberg, according to the paper's multiple sources. If things do pan out for the writer, he may see his film march in line right after Bigelow's, which recently had some delays after Sony decided to wait out the presidential election (it hits theaters in December). 

Why does the government care about Bissonnette's book? He was a former chief in SEAL Team Six — aka the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU). In short: they are no joke. The elite group is highly classified, and not even the White House or the Department of Defense can comment on their activities. The black operatives are often able to work outside of U.S. and international law, and records of the covert team are rarely kept for their own protection. Bissonnette rose through the ranks after participating in a 2009 mission to rescue Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, who had been captured by three Somali pirates. The snipers — including Bissonnette — took them down. The biggest reason, however, is because the Pentagon was never afforded the opportunity to look through Bissonnette's story before it was released to the public, so he risks prison if any confidential information is leaked. 
Bissonnette's fellow SEALs aren't thrilled with his expose. One Navy SEAL told Fox News, "How do we tell our guys to stay quiet when this guy won't?" The writer is trying to make nice by donating all proceeds from the book to the family of fallen SEALs. Given Bissonnette's colorful history with the SEALs, would you put your money on a ticket for this movie?

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