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Columbia Acquires Bigelow's Bin Laden Film

Columbia Pictures has acquired United States distribution rights to the forthcoming motion picture from Oscar-winners Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, director and screenwriter, respectively, of the Best Picture-winning film The Hurt Locker, it was announced today by Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Press Release from Columbia Pictures

CULVER CITY, Calif., May 24, 2011 – Columbia Pictures has acquired United States distribution rights to the forthcoming motion picture from Oscar-winners Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, director and screenwriter, respectively, of the Best Picture-winning film The Hurt Locker, it was announced today by Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The untitled film focuses on the black ops mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, which culminated in his death earlier this month during a high-stakes raid on his compound in Pakistan. Bigelow and Boal have been developing the project since 2008 and plan to incorporate recent events into the film.

Boal and Bigelow will produce the project, along with Annapurna Picture’s Megan Ellison, and executive producer, Greg Shapiro, with production slated to commence in the late summer of 2011.  The film will be released in the United States in the 4th quarter of 2012.

Commenting on the announcement, Pascal said, “With the death of Osama bin Laden, this film could not be more relevant.  Kathryn and Mark have an outstanding perspective on the team that was hunting the most wanted man in the world. .  Mark is second to none as an investigative journalist, and Kathryn will bring the same kind of compelling authenticity and urgency that distinguished The Hurt Locker and made that film so memorable and special.”

KATHRYN BIGELOW won Academy Awards for directing and producing her most recent feature film, The Hurt Locker, a look at an elite Explosive Ordinance Disposal squad in Iraq.  The film starred Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty, and won a total of six Oscars, including Best Picture.  Bigelow’s other films include Near Dark, Point Break, Strange Days, The Weight of Water, and K-19: The Widowmaker.

MARK BOAL won the Academy Award for his original screenplay for The Hurt Locker.  He also won an Oscar for producing the Best Picture winner.  As an investigative reporter, he has written for such national publications as Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, Brill’s Content, Mother Jones, and Playboy. In 2003, he wrote Death and Dishonor, the true story of a military veteran who goes searching for his missing son, which later became the basis for Paul Haggis’s follow up to Crash, In the Valley of Elah, released by Warner Bros. in 2007. Boal collaborated with Paul Haggis on the script and shares a co-story credit on the film.

MEGAN ELLISON is the owner and CEO of Annapurna Pictures and the producer of the forthcoming Wettest County, directed by John Hillcoat. She was the Executive Producer of True Grit. Annapurna is financing and producing upcoming films by Paul Thomas Anderson, Martin McDonagh, and Andrew Dominik.

GREG SHAPIRO won an Academy Award for producing The Hurt Locker. His recent credits include The Conspirator, directed by Robert Redford, and A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas.

About Columbia PicturesColumbia Pictures, part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation.  SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 140 countries.  Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.

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