'Zero Dark Thirty' Screenwriter Responds to Film's Controversy

Mark Boal on the Senate inquiry into his Oscar-nominated film about the hunt for bin Laden.
3:00 | 01/28/13

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Transcript for 'Zero Dark Thirty' Screenwriter Responds to Film's Controversy
The most critically acclaimed films of the year zero dark thirty has been nominated for just about every major -- with that glaring exception of the best director Oscar nod. But the big screen version of the CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden has also attracted some less welcome attention. Here's ABC's Martha Raddatz with a Nightline interviewed. Zero dollars. Thirty hasn't time to box office sales been nominated for -- Academy Awards including best picture. And has already won a slew of other awards but this blockbuster movie -- depicts the greatest manhunt in history to go go go has. -- a very different kind of notoriety as well. From -- demonstrations. At openings to a senate investigation. Zero dark thirty is creating loads of controversy. We weren't quite anticipating the volume -- -- and investigative reporter and Oscar award winner for his screenplay that -- -- wrote and produced 20 dark thirty. What has some on Capitol Hill so angry. It is the film's depiction that waterboarding and other forms of so called -- -- of interrogation. Help. Good life Senator John McCain recently went on CNN. You believe when watching this movie that waterboarding. And torture. Leads to information that liege man to the elimination of -- That's not the case. In December a group of powerful senators including that chair of the intelligence committee Dianne Feinstein. Wrote this CI DA requesting documents and information. Related to the CIA's cooperation with the makers of zero dark thirty. And telling Sony Pictures the film was grossly inaccurate and misleading. It is based on actual events and is based on firsthand accounts and I took notes. And then you compile that research and you dramatized. -- and Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow told me much the same last fall before the film's release. Before the senate pro he decided. Certainly to start in the early years with. Tortured it was that important for you to put in I think for both of us what was important is to be accurate and to be authentic it's not an easy subject but it's also. I'm pretty irrefutable that -- -- was part of this. Ten year long hunt. According to -- no movie has been the subject of -- congressional scrutiny since the forties. When the fear of communism tour through Washington. -- possible Communist penetration of -- Hollywood film industry. We're standing in the shadow of Capitol Hill right now. And you have Dianne Feinstein launching this investigation first to see how you've got your information. I think she crosses a line when when you start investigating the origins of motion picture I worry about the process and I think that. He can show. Writers can chill studios who might -- interest in releasing this -- They recently is he yes Renault. But there is 1 central figure in all of this who seems completely unfazed by the film the man who was the director of the CIA when the bin Laden raid occurred. And is now Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Hadn't seen zero dark thirty I have -- that third. Panetta played by James Gandolfini. Doesn't seem to have any real problems with the film's plot line. And wasn't factual and in ways I think -- did a good job kind of you know indicating how. Some of this was pieced together in terms of the enhanced interrogation that has created a lot of controversy. Did you think that was. An accurate portrayal in that moment I was not a part of you know of those decisions and never -- or witness anything like that so I I can't tell you whether it was accurate or not obviously it was something that was used. It's sort -- indicated in the past I know obviously there are some bits of information that came from that. What ever the outcome of the senate investigation. -- -- Bigelow seem determined to keep pushing ahead. More collaboration in the future we're talking about time something after a major tragedy. Based on something real that's important about -- right. I -- -- wanna continue in this -- I think there's a role for movies to your address topical issues apparently and the controversy and someone is only it only illustrates that. -- collaboration. That has been rewarding for the filmmakers. And judging from its box office success moviegoers. As well. For Nightline I'm Martha Raddatz in Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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