Film about bin Laden raid set to open weeks before the election
Hollywood power producer Harvey Weinstein has all but closed a deal to acquire the rights to “Code Name Geronimo,” a film about the raid that ended in the death of Osama bin Laden, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Weinstein is negotiating the deal while in France for the Cannes Film Festival, and is set to release the film in September or October, just weeks before the presidential election.
“Geronimo” focuses on the three major players in the bin Laden raid: the CIA, Navy SEALs and the U.S. military leadership who directed the operation. While no footage of President Barack Obama appears in the film, it is clear that his administration touts the raid as a major success — and the film could be construed as favorable to the president.
The timing of the film release is no accident — Weinstein pulled a similar stunt when he released the Michael Moore documentary, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” during the summer before the 2004 election. The film did not swing the election in favor of Democratic candidate John Kerry, but it did do wonders for box office sales.
“Geronimo” isn’t the only film about the bin Laden raid to be released this year. “Zero Dark Thirty,” a film directed by Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow and produced by Sony, will come out before the end of the year. The film was originally set for a summer release, but congressional Republicans complained that the administration could be endangering national security by giving information to filmmakers about the mission.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., penned a letter to the Department of Defense and the CIA asking them to look into whether or not the Obama administration leaked classified information. White House press secretary Jay Carney countered the claim, calling it “ridiculous.”
After questions arose about the information that “Zero Dark Thirty’s” filmmakers received, Sony decided to push the film back to December — after the election — to avoid politicizing the film.