This is interesting. Production Weekly tweeted last night that Kathyrn Bigelow, who directed one of the favorite’s for this year’s Best Picture Oscar, The Hurt Locker, is now attached to direct Held by the Taliban. There’s no other information provided by way of talent or scriptwriters, but it is compelling premise. The movie will be based on a five-part series of articles in the New York Times that offer a first-person account by David Rohde of his seven months as a captive of the Taliban in Pakistan. Rohde is a New York Times reporter who was kidnapped with an Afghan journalist, Tahir Luddin, and their driver, Asad Mangal, in late 2008, as they traveled to an interview with a Taliban commander outside Kabul, Afghanistan.
It’s an incredibly lengthy piece (close to a short book, really), but it’s a pretty amazing account, a harrowing and at times chilling look at the Taliban, their extremism, and Rohde’s miraculous escape (along with another kidnapped man) — it reads like it’d make for an excellent movie.
I expect that, should Bigelow not come up with an Oscar this The Hurt Locker, that this should quickly put her back in contention. In fact, it’ll be nice to actually have a solid female director who can consistently churn out quality projects, and Bigelow seems like the only female director who directs movies that are not aimed at women. It would be nice, however, to see her have a major box-office success, as she hasn’t really had one since Point Break. Somehow, I doubt that Held by the Taliban will be a mainstream hit, but it should help to re-establish her after a series of critically appreciated but under-performing flicks, like Strange Days.