Osama Bin Laden TV Movie Set to Air on Sunday Before U.S. Election

3:53 PM PST 10/04/2012 by Matthew Belloni
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'Seal Team Six' will air on Nat Geo Channel on Nov. 4, more than a month before the theatrical feature from "The Hurt Locker" director Kathryn Bigelow.

A movie about the killing of Osama Bin Laden will air on American television two days before the presidential election in November. 

National Geographic Channel has set Sunday, Nov. 4 as the air date for Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden. The movie, directed by John Stockwell (Turistas), is produced by Nicolas Chartier (The Hurt Locker) and Harvey Weinstein, whose company picked up rights to the movie at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

The movie also will become available on Netflix 24 hours after its National Geographic premiere.

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The timing of the bin Laden movie is notable because the events chronicle one of the crowning achievements of President Obama's first term in office: the manhunt and eventual killing of the al Qaeda leader on May 1, 2011. Obama faces GOP contender Mitt Romney in a tight presidential election on Nov. 6.

Seal Team Six also will air more than a month before the release of Zero Dark Thirty, the highly anticipated theatrical feature about the bin Laden raid from director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal, both of whom won Oscars for The Hurt Locker.

"We wanted to be first to bring this story to viewers," National Geographic Channels president Howard T. Owens tells The Hollywood Reporter. Nat Geo won the film in a bidding situation set up by Weinstein, who also was considering a theatrical release. 

Owens says the decision to debut the movie days before the election wasn't motivated by politics. "We’re not trying for this to be political film," he says. "We have a fall schedule coming out and we want to be able to promote that schedule." Nat Geo has had past success with political-oriented fare, including January's George Bush: The 9/11 Interview, the former president's first in-depth reflection on the terrorist attacks.  

"Our audience has a real passion for U.S. militaristic history," Owens says. :This is a great opportunity to attract new viewers to our fall schedule."

Seal Team Six, the first fact-based TV movie for Nat Geo, features a cast that includes Cam Gigandet, Anson Mount, Freddy Rodriquez and Xzibit.

Email: Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

Twitter: @THRMattBelloni

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