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'Zero Dark Thirty' filmmakers: Osama bin Laden manhunt movie has no agenda

Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:57 AM ET

Director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal, the Oscar-winning duo behind "The Hurt Locker," have teamed up again to tell the tale of the hunt for Osama bin Laden in "Zero Dark Thirty," a film they insist has no agenda.

Bigelow and Boal, along with stars Jessica Chastain and Jason Clarke, visited TODAY's Studio 1A Thursday morning to explain their perspectives on the story.

"I'd have to say it's based on first-hand accounts, so what you see is a fairly accurate rendition of what happened," Bigelow explained. "But it is a 10-year hunt, compressed into two and a half hours, and it really shows that journey through the eyes and ears of the intelligence community on the ground, in the middle of that hunt."

And according to Boal, that hunt was captivating enough without the need for the typical Hollywood embellishments.

"This is a pretty naturally dramatic and exciting story," he said. "You don't really have to put too much topspin on the ball."

In fact, some feared the story might be too accurate. When Homeland Security chairman Peter King learned about the production, he wanted the CIA and Department of Defense to find out if any classified information was revealed during for the film. But was that fear founded?

"No," Boal insisted. "We did a lot of homework -- which I hope is evident on the screen when you see the movie, and I hope people go see the movie and judge for themselves -- but you know, it's an election year, and people say things in that process. Now that we have a movie that is actually going to be in theaters soon, I think people will see we didn't really come with any agenda at all."

That was a sentiment echoed by Bigelow when asked whether she believed the film's harsh interrogation scenes could be viewed as simply a means to an end in the real-life story or rather viewed as a political statement.

"I think the film doesn't have an agenda," she reiterated. "I think it just shows the story of the greatest manhunt in history, and that's part of that history. So we needed to basically show all the pieces of that puzzle."

Find out what Chastain and Clarke had to say about the effort in the clip above.

"Zero Dark Thirty" opens Dec. 19 in New York and Los Angeles. Watch the trailer:

 

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