President Barack Obama doesn't have any acting credits that I'm aware of, but he'll reportedly be featured heavily in the upcoming "kill bin Laden" movie that The Weinstein Company is behind (not Kathryn Bigelow's) titled Seal Team Six: The Raid On Osama bin Laden, which dramatizes the hunt and death of Osama bin Laden.
According to the New York Times, who've seen the film, and talked to those responsible for it, the movie has actually been recut in order to "strengthen Mr. Obama’s role and provide a window into decision-making in the White House," using news and documentary footage.
The film’s director, John Stockwell, as well as TWC and others affiliated with the film told the New York Times in an interview that the changes to the film were not politically motivated but were meant to "give the film a stronger sense of realism," apparently thanks to Harvey Weinstein who, as director Stockwell said in a separate statement, “came into the edit room” after buying the rights to the film at Cannes this year, and shared his input on a re-edit of the film that would give it “context" and help "root it in reality.”
Obviously, with Harvey being a hugge Obama supporter, you can expect that this news, as well as the well-timed release of the film – airing next month on the National Geographic Channel, just two days before the presidential election – will draw criticism from the Republicans, who'll likely cry propaganda, meant to influence the election in Obama's favor.
In an op-ed director Stockwell wrote for Huffington Post a week ago, he asked that very question: Can a Movie Swing an Election?
Of course he argues in favor of his film, saying that its intentions weren't at all political, and their only motivation was to make a great movie about a moment in our history.
I'd say that, by now, most, if not all of registered voters planning to cast their votes next month, already know exactly who they're going to vote for, and I don't think one film, which will, by the way, air on a network that isn't exactly one of the major networks (how many of you watch National Geographic with any regularity?), will influence many, if any minds.
But I could be wrong.
National Geographic will start to aggressively market the movie starting next week, when it plans to run ads on other TV networks, as well as print and online; so maybe that'll drive audiences to the channel when it airs the film on Sunday, November 4.
Also, the film will be made available on Netflix (in the USA) a day after its TV premiere, so even more of you who don't have/watch National Geographic will be able to watch it.
This early broadcast gives the film a bit of a leg-up in the battle of bin Laden movies, since Zero Dark Thirty, which will be heading straight to theaters, is scheduled to be released by Sony Pictures on December 19.
Seal Team Six was actually meant to be released in theaters first.
The film stars Cam Gigandet, Anson Mount, Freddy Rodriquez, Kathleen Robertson, Eddie Kay Thomas, Kenneth Miller and rapper-turned-actor Xzibit.
"While some aspects of the characterizations have been dramatized for creative reasons, the core story is an accurate portrayal of an event that ended the longest manhunt in American history," according to a news release from the channel.
Will you be watching, with Obama now in a *starring* role and all?
Watch the first trailer below: