Bin Laden Hits the Big Screen

Osama: Slytherin, most definitely

It took 10 years for U.S. forces to track down Osama bin Laden, but only hours for Hollywood to start planning movie versions.

An agent for former Navy Seal sniper Howard Wasdin, whose yet-to-be-released memoir SEAL Team Six documents his time with the elite counterterrorism unit that shot Bin Laden, says he’s already had several offers for a movie adaptation.

And (perhaps inconveniently) the terrorist’s death provides The Hurt Locker‘s Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal with a new, solid ending to their already-in-the-works thriller (working title: based in part on “a Delta Force commander’s” 2008 memoir Kill Bin Laden), about a U.S. special ops team on the hunt for bin Laden in Tora Bora.

Other “hunt for Bin Laden” film projects exist, and many more will likely surface — at least one for each of the story’s news and emotional angles. (And so many opportunities for made-for-TV movies, exist, as well: Liveblogging Osama: The True Story of the Abbottabad Tweeter; Upstairs at Akbar’s: The True Story of the Terrorist Living Next Door, etc.)

TV movies aside, is the market for bin Laden films really so wide? Certainly his death is significant and symbolic, but will moviegoers go for multiple features?

It may sound conspiratorial, but thanks to the saga’s eerie 9/11 subtext, the first movie that could benefit from bin Laden’s death is the final Harry Potter, in theaters July 15. Find out why here.