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New Book About Osama Bin Laden Killing Being Shopped to Hollywood (Exclusive)

Seal Team Geronimo Book Cover - P 2011

Chuck Pfarrer's book, scheduled for publication Nov. 8, contains new details about the mission that killed Bin Laden that challenge the official White House version of events.

Hollywood's interest in the killing of Osama Bin Laden is about to be put to another test. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that agents for the new book SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama Bin Laden, by former SEAL Team Six commander Chuck Pfarrer,will be in Los Angeles on Friday shopping film and television rights. Interest from studios and producers is expected to be robust. RWSG Literary Agency is repping the property.

The book, scheduled for publication by St. Martin’s Press on Nov. 8, is full of new details about the SEAL Team Six mission that killed Bin Laden. Publication of the book, which is attracting attention among terrorism and national security experts in Washington, was reportedly delayed for several months so it could be cleared by government officials.

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Pfarrer, author of the best-selling Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy SEAL, is said to have gotten a firsthand account of the raid from SEAL members actually involved in the operation. Crucially, sources who are familiar with the book say that SEAL Target Geronimo paints a daring and dramatic account of the raid that is at odds with the official White House version.

Pfarrer writes that the SEALs entered Bin Laden’s home from the roof and killed him in the first 90 seconds of the raid. The official account has Bin Laden dying near the end of an approximately 40-minute raid, after hiding in his bedroom as the SEALS fought their way up from the ground floor.

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Pfarrer also provides new information on the weeks and months leading up to the raid and relates the history of the Navy’s elite and secretive SEAL Team Six. SEAL Target Geronimo pins the blame for Bin Laden’s exposure on Ayman Zawahiri, his second-in-command, who repeatedly used the same compromised courier to communicate with the Al Qaeda leader.   Pfarrer also explores the lessons the SEALs learned from their mission against Somali pirates that helped them in the Bin Laden operation, and he delves into the history and operations of the Joint Special Operations Command, the secretive military organization in charge of the military’s special operations forces.

SEAL Target Geronimo is the latest in a series of book and film projects about the elite Navy special operations forces generally and the Bin Laden raid specifically. The Hurt Locker team of director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal are making a movie about the raid for Sony. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote that Bigelow and Boal got “top-level access to the most classified mission in history" in putting together the script.

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Sony is said to be reconsidering its announced release date of Oct. 12, 2012, meaning the still-untitled film would not hit theaters on the eve of the Nov. 6, 2012, presidential election. Bigelow has not yet started shooting the movie. 

Another Navy SEALs movie, Act of Valor, is scheduled to hit theaters in February from Relativity Media. That film, made with the cooperation of the military and featuring actual soldiers, doesn't specifically deal with the Bin Laden killing.   

Another book, SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper by Howard Wasdin and Stephen Templin, which fortuitously came out just weeks after Bin Laden’s death, immediately jumped up Amazon’s sales rankings and landed on The New York Times best-seller list. And in September, IDW published Code Word: Geronimo, a graphic novel by Dale Dye, the retired marine captain and noted technical adviser on many Hollywood war movies.