If you’ve come across anything like the recent drama The Looming Tower, you’ll already have an idea that post-9/11 dramas are in vogue at the moment. The new Amazon- produced series The Report follows the gripping trend, starring Adam Driver as Senate staffer Daniel J. Jones, who is charged to lead an investigation of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.
Stylised as The Torture Report, the upcoming film deals with the horrors of 9/11 from an apparently unseen perspective. Helmed by writer-director Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum; Contagion) with backing from Steven Soderbergh, The Report had a great reception at Sundance earlier this year and will feature at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.
It’s probably most notable for its lineup — Driver is supported by Annette Bening as Senator Dianne Feinstein and John Hamm (hopping right off the immensely successful release of Good Omens) as Denis McDonough. And that’s not even to mention the rest: Sarah Goldberg, Michael C. Hall, Douglas Hodge, Fajer Kaisi, Ted Levine, Jennifer Morrison, Tim Blake Nelson, Linda Powell, Matthew Rhys, T. Ryder Smith, Corey Stoll, and Maura Tierney all star. It’s a powerhouse combination of celebs that, while impressive, I hope won’t distract from the gravity of the events.
The trailer has come under some criticism for appearing to take lines out of context and to oversimplify the aftermath of 9/11, but while that may seem true, only a full release will tell. I get the impression that this story could easily be spread across a full season of viewing, but in a time when we’re oversaturated with high-quality, dense political thrillers on all our devices, it’s a welcome change to have to concentrate on how the events unfold in one sitting. At 118 minutes, it definitely demands time and attention, but I’m sure Burns’ efforts to forge an engaging thriller will pay off.
The official synopsis is as follows:
The Report is a riveting thriller based on actual events. Idealistic staffer Daniel J. Jones (Adam Driver) is tasked by his boss Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening) to lead an investigation of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, which was created in the aftermath of 9/11. Jones’ relentless pursuit of the truth leads to explosive findings that uncover the lengths to which the nation’s top intelligence agency went to destroy evidence, subvert the law, and hide a brutal secret from the American public.
There’s little doubt that this one’s going to be a big Academy Award contender next year, as Amazon Studios have dug deep to finance the show. It will also receive both a theatrical and a streaming release, taking place from November 15 and November 29 respectively. While this form of distribution is evidently becoming more popular, it’s not watertight yet: The Irishman today becoming embroiled in a debate about exclusivity is just one of the examples that show how a conflict of interest can affect prospective viewing figures.
Ahead of its release across all platforms, you can watch the teaser trailer here, and don’t forget to take a look at the official poster and stills below.