‘Hurt Locker’ team to take on Bergdahl story

Posted at 3:50 PM, Jun 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-17 15:50:04-04

(CNN) — The Bowe Bergdahl story may be coming to the big screen.

Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal are developing a feature film based on the story of Bergdahl, the U.S. Army sergeant who recently returned to the United States after five years in captivity in Afghanistan.

If the film makes it to the screen, it will be familiar territory for Bigelow and Boal, whose movies “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty” looked at U.S. involvement in the Mideast and South Asia through the lenses of a bomb-disposal expert and a CIA agent, respectively.

Tony Angellotti, Boal’s press rep, confirmed that the writer’s production company, Page 1, will work on this movie.

“The Hurt Locker” (2009) won six Oscars, including best picture, best original screenplay for Boal and best director for Bigelow.

“Zero Dark Thirty” (2012), about the search for Osama bin Laden, was nominated for five Oscars and won one, but not for either Boal or Bigelow.

A film on Bergdahl will likely prove controversial.

The soldier went missing in June 2009 in Afghanistan’s Paktika province, where he was deployed with the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. He was released on May 31 in exchange for five Taliban figures held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

An Army fact-finding investigation conducted in the months after his disappearance concluded he left his outpost deliberately and of his own free will, according to an official briefed on the report.

The Army has no definitive finding that Bergdahl deserted because that would require knowing his intent — something officials couldn’t learn without talking to the soldier, a U.S. military official has told CNN.

Other movies from the director-writer team also dealt with shades of gray. “The Hurt Locker’s” bomb disposal expert, played by Jeremy Renner, sees horrific events in Iraq but finds he needs the adrenaline rush of his military work to function. “Zero Dark Thirty” included a controversial waterboarding scene, which led to a debate over the film’s position on torture.

Those films were hailed for their gritty, sometimes documentary-like camerawork.

As Bigelow told CNN in 2009 about “The Hurt Locker,” “I wanted to create a real you-are-there, boots-on-the-ground feeling.”

CNN’s Leslie Bentz contributed to this report.

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