Being given a new moniker 'Zero Dark Thirty', the true story movie draws protests from Indian hardliners over the use of Pakistan flags on the set of the movie at a Chandigarh market.
Kathryn Bigelow's latest film project about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden has just been given a new working title. The controversial movie, which was previously known as "Kill Bin Laden", is now in the works with the name "Zero Dark Thirty (2012)". The new moniker is based on a military-speak used for a very early starting time.
As the movie changed its working title, AFP reported that Bigelow and co. received strict protests from right-wing Hindu activists in India. On Friday, March 2, members of hardline Vishwa Hindu Parishad reportedly disrupted the filming of the pic at a northern Indian city, complaining about the use of an Indian location to refer to Pakistan.
The particular location was a Chandigarh market, which the movie crew has decorated with signs in Urdu. A local police officer explained of the protests, "They removed signs that had been put up in Urdu and also pushed and abused the camera crew. They raised slogans against Pakistan and forcibly removed some Pakistani flags."
Punjab VHP secretary, Ramkrishna Srivastava, has explained why his activists disrupted the production of the Bin Laden movie. "We don't want Pakistani flags on Indian soil and we don't agree that Indian markets should look like Pakistan," he claimed.
After Bigelow decided not to shoot the film in Pakistan, there had been various speculations about where the real story movie will be filmed. Indian papers suggested that "The Hurt Locker" helmer might consider a location in the country to recreate Bin Laden's three-storey hideout in Rajasthan.
An insider, however, revealed, "No real sets have been built at all. The actual recreation of Abbottabad will not even be in India. It's being done in Jordan." As for the activists' on-set attack, the insider said, "We explained that there's nothing here against Hinduism, nothing against Pakistan. It's just a movie."
The source claimed that the filming will still continue on the same set and the crew had agreed to stop using Pakistani flags. "Nothing has been shut down. We are still filming and will continue to do so," so said the source.
Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal have been working on "Zero Dark Thirty" even before the al Qaeda leader was murdered in a massive attack by the U.S. army in Abbottabad, Pakistan last May. After being long gestated, the movie is expected to open in the U.S. on December 19, 2012.
Rounding up the cast ensemble are Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Mark Strong, Edgar Ramirez, Chris Pratt and Jason Clarke among others.