Behind the Raid on Osama Bin Laden

Go behind the scenes of Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden with director John Stockwell and producer Nicolas Chartier.

Behind the Raid on Osama Bin Laden

An action-packed film about the takedown of al-Queda’s leader, Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden follows a group of Navy Seals as they take on the mission of a lifetime, and is the first movie that was made on the mission to get Osama Bin Laden. This version of the story is now out on Blu-ray, DVD and available on Netflix. We had a chance to chat with Director John Stockwell and Producer Nicolas Chartier about what sets their movie apart from others on the subject.

What made you and the writer settle on the story you decided to tell?

Nicolas: We had done Hurt Locker before and wanted to find a good action story. [We had] an idea of doing a movie about Navy Seals [and wanted] to make a good thriller. 

John: When Nick was working on this, before I even came on board, it was before Matt Bissononnette’s book, No Easy Day, or the Mark Bowden book or the Peter Bergen book. It was long before any of those accounts of the mission had come out. He and the screenwriter, Kendall Lampkin, were working from their sources. Then, I came in, and we were working from, sort of, “off the record” sources. There just wasn’t as much information out in the public domain as there is now. Some of it we just had to conjecture about and some of it we had to make the best judgment based on the information we had, so we were happy when certain things came out and it lined up with actual details of the raid. I think, unlike Zero Dark Thirty, which focuses much more on the CIA, our movie focuses more on the military and the local nationals on the ground in Pakistan. That was the story we chose—to really emphasize the role of the Seal team and less of the CIA.

A lot of people feel like this is a story that, since it can only be told because of leaked classified information, is one that shouldn’t be toldthat the enemies of the US shouldn’t have this kind of information about how the seals operate. What would you say to such criticism?

Nicolas: Oh, I think you can find [all the information] on Google and YouTube. You go on YouTube and type Seals and you have all the information. I think it’s out there already.

John: Again, so much of this is anecdotal, but we learned things in the course of the research which we made a decision not to depict, because they could potentially be used by the enemy [during] further raids. I assume that Matt Bissonnette did the same thing—that there are certain classified elements of the mission that will never be revealed because they could, potentially, aide the enemy. I don’t think there’s anything in our movie that, in any way, shape, or form, would assist the enemy.

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