For those of you who were too busy playing Call of Duty for the past couple days, Osama Bin Laden was finally killed by U.S forces on May 1st, 2011. It is a time of celebration, closure, and on a different note, a chance for Hollywood to bank on what is certainly one of the most historic moments in American history.
There are already a few Bin Laden projects in the works . The big one is Kill Bin Laden, which is (supposedly still) Katherine Bigelow's follow-up feature to her astounding 2009 best picture/director winner The Hurt Locker, about a failed attempt to take down the ultimate super-villain. However, now that he is actually dead, is it possible to make a project about someone who gets away even though we already know he has faced his much-deserved demise?
I think it could go both ways. Obviously, it will be harder for moviegoers to connect to the painful emotions of the story because we know the ultimate end to Bin Laden's outcome. Or maybe, it could create a completely different emotional effect where moviegoers can appreciate the bravery of the soldiers who tried to do so instead of just getting angry at the fact that we didn't "get him". It could be the opposite feeling of a movie like Valkyrie, where we knew that Hitler wasn't going to die and were waiting for the eventual demise of our heroes instead of our enemy. Thank you Tarantino, for giving us closure in Inglourious Basterds.
There is a third option for Kill Bin Laden, and that is to tell the same story but change the ending to include his death. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. The vibe for the last decade in Hollywood is that there are no happy endings when it comes to war. Jack Bauer went through hell and back again even though he was a bonafide hero. In the end, he was forced out of the country he swore to protect. Maybe now with the 9/11 attacks coming around in full-circle with the death of Bin Laden, there can be a real change in how we display outcomes in cinema. Maybe hope will rise again, instead of glooming in the dark sorrows that force us to believe that we are just prolonging the inevitable.
So, my question(s) to everyone is this: what kind of Osama Bin Laden movie do you want to see, if at all? Do you want an action movie about his take down? A biopic about the man's disturbing life? Another 9/11 movie that begins with the attack and ends with his death? Perhaps a failed attempt by the Clinton and/or Bush administration compared to the success of Obama's? Although, does it even matter which President gets the credit so long as the man is dead? After all, it truly is the one thing they all agree on.
As do we, the citizens.