Aww: Sony will postpone opening of The Obama Is Totally Awesome blockbuster movie

posted at 2:00 pm on October 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Officially, it’s called Untitled International Thriller, but the original release date of October 12, 2012 for the film based on the SEAL Team 6 mission that killed Osama bin Laden had even Maureen Dowd questioning the motives of the filmmakers — and of the White House, which was apparently cooperating with the filmmakers and providing inside information.  Republicans in Congress expressed outrage, promised investigations, and proposed laws to block Hollywood from gaining access to information.

Coincidentally or not, Sony has moved the release date for the film:

Sony likely won’t be releasing Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s untitled project about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden before the 2012 Presidential election as planned.

Originally skedded to launch Oct. 12, the studio said it will definitely move the film — but is considering a few different options as to when.

According to Variety, the studio moved a Kevin James comedy into the October 12th slot, which means they needed to find another release date for the movie anyway, but there is certainly a chicken-or-the-egg question about which came first.  On the other hand, the film hasn’t even gone into production yet, as Variety and IMDB both report.  They would need to have shot the film quickly and turned around the editing in a narrow time frame to make that date, which is less than a year away now, and it doesn’t even have an announced cast yet.

Govindini Murty hails the decision regardless of the motivation, and says it will not just help Bigelow’s project, but others coming to screens later as well:

The dispute over the bin Laden film didn’t just threaten to undermine the film itself — it also potentially diminished support for a number of other film and TV projects in the works that aim to portray the American military positively in the War on Terror. These projects range from Jerry Bruckheimer’s Navy SEALs TV series for ABC and Relativity’s Navy SEALs movie Act of Valor to movies like Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor and Christopher McQuarrie’s Rubicon that depict Navy SEALs fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. While liberals in the industry are supportive of these films after the success of the bin Laden raid, conservatives paradoxically have become convinced by the dust-up over Sony’s bin Laden movie that all these other projects must be thinly disguised pro-Obama propaganda as well. (See the comments section of my recent article in The Atlantic, where conservatives responded with skepticism to news of these War on Terror projects.)

As a result, a movie that should have been a unifying depiction of an American victory in the War on Terror has become a political hot potato. Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal released a statementin August saying that their film would depict the killing of bin Laden as “an American triumph, both heroic, and non-partisan.” Nonetheless, Sony needed to change the release date to truly show that their bin Laden movie was not intended to influence the election. …

Even Steven Spielberg, long an astute judge of public sentiment, decided to postpone the release of his Lincoln biopic until after the 2012 election for just this reason. As Spielberg told the Orlando Sentinel recently: “I didn’t want it to become political fodder.” Spielberg has the right instinct here. While movies should be free to express political viewpoints, by tying films to the political cycle, filmmakers risk subsuming the independent artform of film to the contentious forces of politics. This has a divisive and inflammatory effect on the public — something that the country certainly does not need right now.

Sony is making the right decision by postponing its bin Laden film to a time when the film will be judged on its own merits and not through the highly charged lens of a national election. The brave soldiers of SEAL Team 6 who carried out the raid that killed bin Laden did so on behalf of all Americans — not just for a particular political party. Any movie that seeks to accurately depict their actions should also honor their broader nonpartisan spirit.

I don’t have any problem with filmmakers creating political diatribes, as long as they’re honest about them.  They almost always flop at the box office, though, because the only people who want to show up to a two-hour lecture on politics are the true believers.  Note well the box-office bombs that Hollywood produced when it tried to turn the Iraq War into political statements: Redacted, Lions for Lambs among others were box-office embarrassments.

Given their treatment of The Hurt Locker, I’d say that Bigelow and Boal have the capacity to offer a fair look at the daring exploits of American commandos without turning it into a partisan diatribe, but we’ll see when the movie gets released.  Now that Sony has wisely moved the release date to after the election and mooted accusations of attempting to produce propaganda for the current administration, I’m looking forward to giving it a chance.

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Is it true Sean Penn is playing Osama? s/off

erp on October 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM

It wouldn’t have the veneer of partisanship if hollywood had not been so blatantly partisan since 9/11. I refuse to watch movies that I am sure would otherwise have been entertaining simply because of who is starring/directing them.

Hollywood needs to learn that Hypocrisy turns EVERYONE off.

Mord on October 22, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Now that Sony has wisely moved the release date to after the election and mooted accusations of attempting to produce propaganda for the current administration, I’m looking forward to giving it a chance.

Given the fact that it was wise to move the date…I’ll give Sony props for that. But it was propoganda on Oct. 2012, and it will be propoganda on any other date as well. I’ll pass on this one. I’ll not give Obama anymore credit than is deserved. After all, it was the SEALS who risked their lives. Not Obama. And later, they paid for that, with their lives.

I still question that too. How did they know the SEALS were on that particular helicopter?

capejasmine on October 22, 2011 at 2:13 PM

It’s fascinating that the “I hate war” genre seems to have gone away.
Where’s “Stop Loss” or “Lions for Lambs”?

MayBee on October 22, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Bigelow wrote and directed my favorite vampire film, Near Dark.

Blake on October 22, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Skedded?

:sigh:

reaganaut on October 22, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Dang. It’s almost like they have realized that Tom what’s his name Top Gun star is only 4’9″ tall. What is his name? Oh… That’s right Tom Cruise.

/I forget little, small men. And so will America.

Key West Reader on October 22, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Clearly, Sony hates the troops.
/

mythicknight on October 22, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Senator McCarthy was an idiot. Communists in Hollywood……, the nerve of that guy. There are no Communists in Hollywood…

Sarc off…..

adamsmith on October 22, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Morgan Freeman as Barack?

SouthernGent on October 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM

I dunno. If they show Obama’s drawn out decision making process in real-time, I’m okay if they release it in October.

TexasDan on October 22, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Put this on your radar; many states will follow:

Janitors who make …..

Take a gander. This is just Florida.

Key West Reader on October 22, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Given the fact that it was wise to move the date…I’ll give Sony props for that. But it was propoganda on Oct. 2012, and it will be propoganda on any other date as well. I’ll pass on this one.

capejasmine on October 22, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Me, too. Clearly, the filmmaker’s intention was to be Obama’s Leni Riefenstahl. That she has discovered that Obama film propaganda might not sell as well as she had hoped, while amusing, does not in any way mitigate her intentions — to use the American armed forces to foist a mythical narrative on the American people about Barack Obama’s faux “heroism” in an effort to get him re-elected. Screw her, and her little movie, too.

Rational Thought on October 22, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Just as soon as they release “The Path to 9/11″ on DVD.

/notholdingmybreath

CurtZHP on October 22, 2011 at 2:37 PM

I’ll bet the film never sees the light of day after Nov 2012.

GarandFan on October 22, 2011 at 2:38 PM

CurtZHP on October 22, 2011 at 2:37 PM

ding ding ding

cmsinaz on October 22, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Can you say “Straight to DVD?”

BigWyo on October 22, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Good for Sony, though.

MayBee on October 22, 2011 at 2:41 PM

I’ll bet the film never sees the light of day after Nov 2012.

GarandFan on October 22, 2011 at 2:38 PM

straight to DVD

darwin-t on October 22, 2011 at 2:42 PM

Can you say “Straight to DVD?”

BigWyo on October 22, 2011 at 2:41 PM

I did, just after you did.

darwin-t on October 22, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Key West Reader on October 22, 2011 at 2:34 PM

I really like that. But obviously your Governor has not been re-educated. Transparency is only something a politican (Obama) uses when it suits his/her needs. They don’t REALLY mean it. Do they?

I hope your Governor means it. It would be refreshing to get some honesty, integrity, respect, and accountability back into our local, state, and Federal levels of government.

capejasmine on October 22, 2011 at 2:44 PM

“While liberals in the industry are supportive of these films after the success of the bin Laden raid, conservatives paradoxically have become convinced by the dust-up over Sony’s bin Laden movie that all these other projects must be thinly disguised pro-Obama propaganda as well.”

Hmmm. All of a sudden America/Military hating left-wing Hollywood has one pro-Obama pro military movie and conservatives have become convinced that all pro military movies are bad? I see the straw man is back. I just love how liberals can read the mind of the straw man.

pat on October 22, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Originally skedded to launch Oct. 12

Really? Variety uses slang now?

Can’t believe there wasn’t at least a “yo dawg” in there with it.

ButterflyDragon on October 22, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Morgan Freeman as Barack?

SouthernGent on October 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM

No , he will be played by Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes , at the same time…

the_nile on October 22, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Morgan Freeman as Barack?

SouthernGent on October 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM

And Jerry Mathers as “The Beaver”.

MeAlice on October 22, 2011 at 2:52 PM

In the movie Black Hawk Down, there was no mention of who happened to be the President of the United States at the time – or even that such an office had ever existed.

Any chance this movie will be so conspicuously non-partisan?

logis on October 22, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Besides, Barry will enjoy watching it more without the pressures of being president any more.

petefrt on October 22, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Morgan Freeman as Barack?
SouthernGent on October 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM

No , he will be played by Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes , at the same time…
the_nile on October 22, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Morgan Freeman has played God too many times now; he’ll want to avoid being typecast. He’ll just do the voiceover and leave the actual miracle-working to the younger actors.

logis on October 22, 2011 at 2:58 PM

I’m sorry…

… but the Hollywood left did everything in its power for eight years to spread propaganda all over the world against our troops, against President Bush, and against our country.

You can not just turn that off with one movie…

… Regardless of the motivation of the simpletons in Hollywood that wanted to take a snipe and jab at the Right, their work is still being used as recruiting tools and propaganda for our enemies who hate us.

They put their ideology in movies, as subject matter for TV shows, and in music…

… They emboldened our enemies who could selectively filter the propaganda to make sure the “hate America” meme, made by Americans, was available for all to see.

We may never know how much damage they have done, or how many lives could have been saved if they did not provide our enemies with the tools to fill their ranks…

… Basically, they can go fu%k themselves.

Seven Percent Solution on October 22, 2011 at 3:06 PM

I really like that. But obviously your Governor has not been re-educated. Transparency is only something a politican (Obama) uses when it suits his/her needs. They don’t REALLY mean it. Do they?

I hope your Governor means it. It would be refreshing to get some honesty, integrity, respect, and accountability back into our local, state, and Federal levels of government.

capejasmine on October 22, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Herman Cain’s message: The Left made you poor and the Left will keep you poor. If you let them.

Key West Reader on October 22, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Morgan Freeman as Barack?
SouthernGent on October 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM

No , he will be played by Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes , at the same time…
the_nile on October 22, 2011 at 2:49 PM

This is the best Obama Idol Same era. Nall that.

Key West Reader on October 22, 2011 at 3:09 PM

It is kinda sad though….

Nothing sez ‘In Charge, Competent, strong willed Leader’ like Barack Hussein Obama.

BigWyo on October 22, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Note well the box-office bombs that Hollywood produced when it tried to turn the Iraq War into political statements: Redacted, Lions for Lambs among others were box-office embarrassments.

Don’t forget “Fair Game,” the revised history of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame (starring Sean Penn, of course). Total take was about $9 million, so they probably didn’t break even, much less make a profit.

Amazing that anyone would invest in these movies, with the track record of total flops. Maybe “The Producers” model of getting 300% investments, then making sure it’s a money-loser? “Springtime, for Hitler……”

iurockhead on October 22, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Hollywood = 1%

maineconservative on October 22, 2011 at 3:18 PM

A 2013 opening, eh?

It would be ironic if this film opened against a backdrop of the Taliban toppling Karzai’s government, recapturing Kabul and ruthlessly exterminating “collaborators” and non-Pashtun ethnic groups.

Mike Honcho on October 22, 2011 at 3:29 PM

filmmakers risk subsuming the independent artform of film to the contentious forces of politics. This has a divisive and inflammatory effect on the public

and too big of a risk to their own pockets.

lynncgb on October 22, 2011 at 3:39 PM

I wouldn’t go see it, even under pain of death.

thebrokenrattle on October 22, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Personally I’m waiting for the release of “Throw Moammar From The Truck”. That trailer looks hysterical, and it’ll be great to see Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito reprising their roles in this long awaited sequal. It looks a little bloodier than the original, but I’m sure it will be a big hit.

ardenenoch on October 22, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Is Charlie Sheen going to be in the movie?

percysunshine on October 22, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Morgan Freeman as Barack?
SouthernGent on October 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM

No , he will be played by Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes , at the same time…
the_nile on October 22, 2011 at 2:49 PM

I see more of a ….And playing himself, President Barack H. Obama.

He probably tried to do his own stunts, but that dagblasted hang nail was to much pain for him to endure.

capejasmine on October 22, 2011 at 4:12 PM

If they’re striving for reality they ought to get the actor who played Cmdr. Sturgis on the later seasons of JAG. He’s a dead ringer for Bombo right down to the ears.

xkaydet65 on October 22, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Do leftists/Obama supporters like war movies?

OxyCon on October 22, 2011 at 4:21 PM

My prediction: Some Obamabot inside the film company will leak the film to the Internet a few weeks before the election.

Socratease on October 22, 2011 at 4:24 PM

They should be playing this movie on Air Force One on January 20, 2013 on Obama’s flight back to Chicago.

portlandon on October 22, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Even Steven Spielberg, long an astute judge of public sentiment, decided to postpone the release of his Lincoln biopic until after the 2012 election for just this reason. As Spielberg told the Orlando Sentinel recently: “I didn’t want it to become political fodder.”

Lincoln was known as an incredibly hard worker. During the war years, those closest to him feared he might actually work himself to death. Lincoln was also a man with a deep love for his country; he loved reading about American history, and revered George Washington. Lincoln was also a very bright and exceptionally well-spoken man, who used his quick wits and skill in extemporaneous public speaking to build himself a successful career as a trial lawyer before becoming a politician.

Is Spielberg worried that voters viewing the Lincoln movie before the 2012 election would see such a stark contrast between Lincoln and our current president that they’d be influenced to vote against Obama after seeing the movie?

AZCoyote on October 22, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Even Steven Spielberg, long an astute judge of public sentiment, decided to postpone the release of his Lincoln biopic until after the 2012 election for just this reason. As Spielberg told the Orlando Sentinel recently: “I didn’t want it to become political fodder.”

Total BS. If Spielberg thought Obama was a sure thing, he’d be releasing his movie before the election and encouraging people to make comparisons between Obama and Lincoln; he’d be calling it a “parable for our times.” But as it stands, Obama looks like a one-termer and the lefty Spielberg is really just a limousine liberal capitalist. He wants his movie to make money, and he doesn’t want to be saddled with the inevitable media scrutiny of his having tried — and failed — to get Obama re-elected with his little movie. The country rejects Obama? They’ll reject Spielberg’s movie, too. His bank account can’t take that. You know, he’s not a liberal-liberal. He’s the other kind.

Rational Thought on October 22, 2011 at 4:41 PM

My prediction: Some Obamabot inside the film company will leak the film to the Internet a few weeks before the election.

Socratease on October 22, 2011 at 4:24 PM

I figure they’ll be running the trailers — all of ‘em featuring Obama making the “heroic” decision. And it will be an epic fail.

Rational Thought on October 22, 2011 at 4:42 PM

My prediction: Some Obamabot inside the film company will leak the film to the Internet a few weeks before the election.
Socratease on October 22, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Media outlets would have trouble completely whoring out for a released film made by a competing studio. But a “pirate” version that “has been taking the Internet by storm?” They can cover that 24/7. And it will be nothing but glowing reviews. No actual people will have to turn out to watch hundreds of millions of dollars of Hollywood CGI try – and fail – to transform this empty suit into an action hero.

logis on October 22, 2011 at 4:56 PM

I’ll bet the film never sees the light of day after Nov 2012.

GarandFan on October 22, 2011 at 2:38 PM

-
I’ll bet that too…
-

RalphyBoy on October 22, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Originally skedded to launch Oct. 12
Really? Variety uses slang now?

Can’t believe there wasn’t at least a “yo dawg” in there with it.

ButterflyDragon on October 22, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Variety has been using lame slang for decades. Where have you been?

trigon on October 22, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Is it true Sean Penn is playing Osama? s/off
erp on October 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM

No, he’s playing Obooba.

Akzed on October 22, 2011 at 6:39 PM

According to Variety, the studio moved a Kevin James comedy into the October 12th slot,

Beaten out by yet another Kevin James comedy? How the mighty have fallen.

jnelchef on October 22, 2011 at 7:14 PM

As a resident of Culver City, home of Sony Pictures, I’m well aware of their political viewpoint. Obama used two sound stages at Sony on April 22, 2011 for a $250 a plate ($2,500 VIP) fundraiser. Sony’s big execs are in his pocket.

unclesmrgol on October 22, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Color me cynical, but you don’t think they’ll be saturating the airwaves with “coming-soon in December” trailers the week of the election?

I sure as hell do. Hollyweird won’t give in this easily.

cane_loader on October 22, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Is it true Sean Penn is playing Osama? s/off
erp on October 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Negative, Sean Penn is playing Obama; and Obama wishes he was Sean Penn. (Because he could have a different wife instead of the sweathog he has now)

jarhead0311 on October 22, 2011 at 10:40 PM

Flavor Flav will be playing Obama

J_Crater on October 22, 2011 at 10:58 PM

In the movie Black Hawk Down, there was no mention of who happened to be the President of the United States at the time – or even that such an office had ever existed.

Any chance this movie will be so conspicuously non-partisan?

logis on October 22, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Since the filmmakers have been “working closely with” the Obama White House, I’d say all hope of conspicuous non-partisanship should be abandoned.

The story — despite featuring Seal Team 6 — will undoubtedly be presented in such a way as Obama wants it presented.

That means that Morgan Freeman just might be presented as God walking hand-in-hand with Barack among the clouds directing the Seals below.

About Black Hawk Down, that was the director’s tour-de-force. Ridley Scott surely outdid just about everyone with that one, as to the art of directing a film.

Lourdes on October 23, 2011 at 7:53 AM

Correction in the following, third paragraph below:

Since the filmmakers have been “working closely with” the Obama White House, I’d say all hope of conspicuous non-partisanship should be abandoned.

The story — despite featuring Seal Team 6 — will undoubtedly be presented in such a way as Obama wants it presented.

That means that Morgan Freeman just might be presented as God Allah walking hand-in-hand with Barack among the clouds directing the Seals below…

Lourdes on October 23, 2011 at 7:53 AM

Lourdes on October 23, 2011 at 7:55 AM

Brett Ratner, who is the director of the upcoming Let’s Steal Bernie Madoff’s Money action comedy Tower Heist, has bought the rights to The Reluctant Communist, the memoir of Charles Robert Jenkins, a young American soldier who was so horrified by the fighting in Korea that he surrendered to the communists in the hopes he would eventually be sent to the U.S. to be court-martialed. Instead, he was brutally beaten, forced to learn Korean, and forced to make anti-American propaganda films. He finally got that court-martial — after the NorKoms released him forty years later.

I have tweeted to Ratner that there is no actor who could play Jenkins better than Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad, who last year won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. I hope he takes my advice. Approached with the proper spirit, this film could be very educational about the difference between the somewhat segregated traditional America that Jenkins left to go to war and the dark, backward, morally bankrupt govermnent and suffering society that was created by Stalinist puppets.

BTW, fellas: If you like stunningly beautiful women as much as I do, do yourself a favor and do a Google image search of Govindini Murty. Yeeeeeeoooooowwwww!

L.N. Smithee on October 23, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Can you say “Straight to DVD?”

“So straight to DVD, it hurts.”

ZK on October 23, 2011 at 10:55 AM