Casting Kathryn Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden in Movie

VIDEO: CIA worked with U.S. troops during dangerous operation that killed bin Laden.
ABCNEWS.com

The story and cast are still in flux, but Kathryn Bigelow's Osama bin Laden movie is already stirring controversy.

Earlier this week, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, called for an investigation into whether the White House gave Bigelow, the Oscar-winning director of " The Hurt Locker," access to confidential information while she researched the film.

King has also suggested potential political ramifications from the film, which is scheduled for release in October 2012, just before the presidential election.

The still unnamed project, which Bigelow and "Hurt Locker" screenwriter Mark Boal have had in the works for some time, was fastracked after bin Laden was killed May 1.

No doubt the new script will incorporate details of bin Laden's death, but so far Bigelow and Boal have kept the storyline under wraps.

All they would say is that their movie will be nonpartisan.

"Our upcoming film project about the decade-long pursuit of bin Laden has been in the works for many years and integrates 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 CIA," they said in a statement.

As for the cast, only one name has been attached to the project -- relative unknown Australian actor Joel Edgerton. The Los Angeles Times reported that Edgerton, who appeared in the "Star Wars" prequels and last year's sleeper hit "Animal Kingdom," will play a special operative in the picture. The 37-year-old actor will be part of an ensemble of male commandos.

Who will round out the group of commandos or who will play public enemy No. 1 is still up for grabs.

"Knowing Bigelow's work," Michael Hogan, editor-in-chief of Moviefone, told ABCNews.com, "I have a feeling she's going to want people whose star quality is not distracting you from the film.

"If you barge into bin Laden's lair and it's John Turturro, that's going to take you out of the moment," he said.

More likely, Bigelow will create some stars, the way she did with Jeremy Renner, who received an Oscar nod for his role in "Hurt Locker."

"She's got the power now," Hogan said. "She doesn't need a star to get the film made."

But since it's fun to speculate who could fit the bill, we asked Hogan for some of his picks.

Osama Bin Laden

"Osama is a funny one to cast," Hogan, Moviefone's editor, told ABCNews.com.

That could be why late-night host Conan O'Brien took a stab at it. He suggested former Chicago Bulls basketball player Scotty Pippen. "You've got to admit it's a shocking resemblance," he joked.

Hogan said his former colleagues at Vanity Fair suggested Lebanese-American actor Tony Shalhoub of "Monk" fame. A commentor thought the aforementioned Turturro would be a better choice.

But on the grounds of sheer height, Hogan suggested Jeff Goldblum. "He could play him without the platform shoes," he said, "and with the magic of movie-making."

President Barack Obama

"Denzel is the perfect Obama," Hogan said, referring to Denzel Washington. "Nobody can beat that."

Hillary Clinton

The obvious choice, Hogan maintains, is America's pre-eminent actress: Meryl Streep.

"After she plays Margaret Thatcher," Hogan said, "she needs to play Hillary Clinton."

Hogan suggested that Streep could play Thatcher, Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Imelda Marcos in a rountable discussion. "That would be good comedy."

A great second choice: Tilda Swinton.

Joe Biden

Finding the right person to play Vice President Joe Biden is tricky, Hogan said.

"I wish Jason Robards could come back from the dead," he said. "John Mahoney [from "Frasier"] might be too old."

In the end, Hogan agreed with Vanity Fair's pick: Dennis Farina.

Navy Seal's Team Six

Edgerton will most likely be the guy who ends up killing the world's most-hated man.

But he represents only one of a team of 23 Seals who went into bin Laden's compound that night.

Hogan's picks for rounding out the crew: Vin Diesel, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and "Captain America" star Chris Evans.

He also suggested bringing back Renner and Anthony Mackie from "The Hurt Locker."

"Friday Night Lights" star Kyle Chandler could play a "slightly older guy mulling over whether he should have retired before this mission," Hogan said, adding that Brian Cranston would also be a good choice.

For a special ops guy with a sensitive side, Hogan suggested Andrew Garfield from " The Social Network."

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

Hogan's pick to play the former secretary of defense is Brendan Gleeson, the Irish actor who won an Emmy for his portrayal of Winston Churchill.

CIA director Leon Panetta

The former CIA chief Leon Panetta already has designs on who should play him in an Osama bin Laden movie.

Just days after bin Laden was killed, Panetta suggested during a long-planned tour of CIA headquarters for 25 congressional freshmen that Al Pacino should play him.

Rep. Billy Long tweeted from the tour, "Panetta 'watching it unfold live I thought -- this is like watching a Harrison Ford Movie' when asked who should play him -- he said 'Al Pacino.'"

The courier

The trail that led to bin Laden began with his hapless courier.

Hogan suggested Puerto Rican character actor Luis Guzman of "Boogie Nights" fame.

"Any opportunity to get Luis Guzman in a movie," he said.

George W. Bush

Since Bigelow said her film would reflect both the Bush and Clinton administration's pursuit of bin Laden, Hogan suggested Michael Sheen for Bush.

The Welsh actor who played Tony Blair in "The Queen" has some experience playing heads of state.

"He has that slight snively look," Hogan said. "It might be a stretch to do the Texas swagger, but I would like to see him pull that off."

Bill Clinton

Clinton is tougher to cast, Hogan said.

"You need Elvis to come back and do Clinton," he said.

Since that won't be happening anytime soon, bringing back John Travolta, who portrayed the president in "Primary Colors" is the next best thing.

Mullah Mohammed Omar

To play the half-blind spiritual leader of the Taliban, Mullah Omar, Hogan would cast one of his favorite actors, Jeffrey Wright.

"He's so good," he said. "He could do a great one-eyed mullah."

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