India not exactly thrilled to be playing Pakistan in Kathryn Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden movie
Kathryn Bigelow’s Osama Bin Laden movie—which now has the working title Zero Dark Thirty, which is military jargon for both “an early start time” and “wicked industrial band”—has barely even had the chance to have Kyle Chandler squint disapprovingly at the 9/11 mastermind, and already the film is the subject of scandals both domestic and foreign. As reported earlier, Homeland Security chairman Peter King called for a Pentagon investigation of the film, based on his suspicion that the White House shared classified information with Bigelow and, presumably, that some of those people playing the Muslims might be terrorists because you just never know. Now Bigelow and her crew have been met with a far more serious backlash in the form of intense protests from “Hindu radicals” in India, where the production has come under fire for transforming Chandigarh into a stand-in for the Pakistani city of Lahore. This, of course, was only after Pakistani officials refused to allow the movie to be filmed in Pakistan for unspecified reasons. Probably traffic.
Anyway, according to the reports, protesters have been disrupting filming by pulling down Pakistani flags from the set, shouting slogans, and arguing with cast and crew, voicing their displeasure at seeing their neighborhood made over with Urdu signs, cars bearing Lahore license plates, and extras dressed in the traditional garb of their enemies. Nevertheless, filming is planned to continue, as at least one crew member has said they’ve been “holding talks” with the protesters in the hopes of convincing them that it’s all good, and maybe they could just forget about their half-century-old conflict for a few days so America can get on with the business of making badass American movies. This is expected to go over very well.