Osama biopic to be filmed in India?

Oscar-winning Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow likely to shoot the hunt of Bin Laden in the country, recce carried out in Rajasthan, Punjab, hush-hush schedule expected in March.

hollywood Updated: Feb 21, 2012 18:23 IST
Prashant Singh
Prashant Singh
Hindustan Times

Hollywood’s fascination with India seems to have no end. The latest filmmaker, looking to capture the exotic experience on film, is Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow. Even though the maker of The Hurt Locker (2008) has remained tightlipped about her next project that revolves around the slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, rumour has it that portions of the film will be shot in India.

“We are expecting the cast and crew to land in March. All the details have been worked out very secretly, so hardly anyone is aware (of the details). They are likely to shoot for about a week to 10 days,” says a member of a popular line production company. Apparently, an extensive reconnaissance has been carried out in north India, with a special focus on Punjab and Rajasthan.

Although Bigelow’s film has been in the making for a while, the makers have gone all out to ensure that the details are kept secret. But The Help actor Jessica Chastain, who stars in the film, recently revealed some vital information to popular celebrity portal JustJared.com. She had said, “I’ve been working on Kathryn Bigelow’s movie in Jordan. (And) After the Oscars, I go to India to shoot more of the exteriors for the film.”

Insiders from the line production company believe that Bigelow has chosen to shoot the “exterior” portions in certain parts of north India, as these areas resemble Abbottabad (in Pakistan), which is where the terrorist was killed in 2011.

“Shooting in Pakistan is nearly impossible due to security concerns. So any filmmaker wanting to capture the neighbouring country’s landscape is left with no option besides India,” adds the insider.

In the past, actor Angelina Jolie and husband-producer Brad Pitt too could not shoot A Mighty Heart (2007) in Pakistan due to reported security concerns. So with the exception of a few background scenes, which were filmed in Pakistan, Michael Winterbottom’s film was mostly shot in Pune. Meanwhile, Bigelow, who was married to Avatar (2009) filmmaker James Cameron from 1989 to 1991, is believed to be making a gripping drama about the US Navy SEALs who hunted for, found and ultimately killed Osama on May 2 last year.

He was shot inside a private residential compound in Abbottabad in a covert operation.

Besides Jessica, Bigelow’s untitled film also stars Kyle Chandler, Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong and Edgar Ramirez. It’s expected to release in theatres in the US on December 19.

First Published: Feb 21, 2012 11:06 IST