Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty

2012 film by Kathryn Bigelow
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Zero Dark Thirty
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Zero Dark Thirty is a 2012 American thriller film directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal. The film dramatizes the nearly decade-long international manhunt for Osama bin Laden, leader of terrorist network Al-Qaeda, after the September 11 attacks. This search leads to the discovery of his compound in Pakistan and the military raid where bin Laden was killed on May 2, 2011.

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Written by
Mark Boal
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Release date
  • December 10, 2012 (2012-12-10) (Los Angeles)
  • December 19, 2012 (2012-12-19) (United States)
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Running time
157 minutes
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Country
United States
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Language
English
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Budget
$40 million
Box office
$132.8 million

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Angry Pakistani mob outside U.S. embassy.: Joseph Bradley go to Hell! Joseph Bradley go to Hell! Joseph Bradley go to Hell!
  • James Gandolfini, who portrays former CIA head Leon Panetta, sent a note to Panetta before the film came out: "I'm very sorry about everything. I apologize. You're like my father, so you'll find something to be angry about, but please let me know." For months, silence. Then, as the film was in the middle of awards season in early January, screenwriter Mark Boal told Gandolfini, "Leon Panetta would like your phone number because he doesn't know how to get in touch with you." The actor was surprised. "He's the head of the CIA! He can't find me? Come on, really?!"
  • James Cameron, ex-husband of eventual director Kathryn Bigelow, was previously in negotiations to direct the film, but dropped out to produce Avatar 2 (2016).
  • Jessica Chastain's agents originally declined the role of Maya. Producer Megan Ellison, who had worked with Chastain on Lawless (2012), gave Kathryn Bigelow Chastain's phone number so she could personally offer her the role. Chastain accepted.
  • The stealth helicopters used in the actual mission were heavily modified Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks. Anti-radar cladding, like that of the F-117 stealth fighter, helped them avoid detection by Pakistani air defenses, and the extra blades in the main rotors and tail rotors produced less noise than the standard rotors.
  • Rooney Mara was originally cast but had to drop out and was replaced by Jessica Chastain.

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