[UPDATE] Spielberg eyes Navy SEAL book on bin Laden raid

[UPDATE: The following statement was given by Steven Spielberg’s spokesman Marvin Levy: “Neither Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Studios, or DreamWorks Television will be optioning Mark Owen’s book No Easy Day.” Well, that’s the end of that, then.]

Steven Spielberg is in direct talks with the author of No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden. The book comes out on September 11th and has been the center of much controversy. If it does go forward, No Easy Day would be the next high-profile film to cover the operation that killed bin Laden, the first being Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. If you haven’t kept up with the news about No Easy Day, let me put on my fedora with a press card and get you up to speed.

Written under the pseudonym Mark Owen by a member of SEAL Team Six, No Easy Day chronicles the raid that killed bin Laden. The SEALs pride themselves on secrecy, so the writing of this book is highly irregular. On top of that, the material in No Easy Day was not reviewed or cleared by the Pentagon, though publisher Dutton (an imprint of Penguin) says the material was vetted by a former special-ops attorney. Owen’s real name/identity was revealed by Fox News last week, which led to al Qaeda members spreading the author’s personal information and calling on militants to exact revenge.

It’s unclear if Spielberg himself would direct the film or just produce. He’s already got Robopocalypse in the works for a 2014 release, so it would be a while before he got around to No Easy Day. Expect some more definitive answers from Spielberg when he does press rounds for Lincoln.

[The New York Post via The Playlist; update via The Playlist]

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.