Sony Pictures Considering Moving Release of Bin Laden Movie Until After the Presidential Elections

Kathryn Bigelow & Mark Boal
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Bigelow and Boal celebrate the Oscar wins for "The Hurt Locker."

The new film from "Hurt Locker" filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal had been set for release on Oct. 12, 2012.

Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s upcoming movie about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden is no looking as if it will be a factor in next fall’s presidential election.

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In May, Sony Pictures acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film from the Oscar-winning  team that made The Hurt Locker and quickly set a release date of Oct. 12, 2012, which meant it would be hitting theaters just weeks before election day on Nov. 6. But while the studio has not yet made a formal decision, it is now reviewing its 2012 release schedule, which includes the newest James Bond movie on Nov. 9, and is leaning toward releasing the Bigelow/Boal film either later in 2012, presumably after the election, or in 2013. The New York Times first reported the pending change-of-date.

The untitled film, which has not yet begun shooting, has already become something of a political football, with critics charging that the movie and its release date were designed to boost President Obama’s political fortunes by dramatizing his role in the pursuit and killing of Bin Laden.

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In August, U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the committee on homeland security, demanded an investigation into whether the Obama administration leaked classified information to Bigelow and Boal. White House spokesman Jay Carney called such claims "ridiculous" and "simply false" and said the White House had provided information to the filmmakers only on the president's role in the raid.

Bigelow and Boal denied any partisan political motivation, emphasizing that they have been working on the project for several years and its focus isn't Obama but "the decade long pursuit of Bin Laden…[and] the collective efforts of three administrations, including those of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, as well as the cooperative strategies and implementation by the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency. Indeed, the dangerous work of finding the world’s most wanted man was carried out by individuals in the military and intelligence communities who put their lives at risk for the greater good without regard for political affiliation.”