Vishal Bhardwaj will be directing an adaptation of Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark’s non-fiction book The Exile: The Flight of Osama Bin Laden. The book, published in 2017 and based on extensive reportage, provides insider accounts into Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden’s movements after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States of America, Times of India reported.
Bhardwaj’s movie, titled Abbottabad, will be produced by the filmmaker and Junglee Pictures. They had previously collaborated on Talvar, based on the killings of Arushi Talwar and Hemraj Banjade in 2008. The director had wanted to adapt the authors’ previous book The Siege (2013), about the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, but it fell through since the rights had already been sold to an American producer.
Abbottabad is being spun as a prequel to Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, about the US mission to kill Bin Laden in 2011. “I was completely hooked,” Bhardwaj said about the book.
“About a year back, they (Levy and Scott-Clark) came to meet me and we had another chat about The Siege,” Bhardwaj said. “During that chat, I asked them about what they were working on next. They told me about the next book they were working on - The Exile - and I was sold on it in one line, when they said it’s “the prequel to Zero Dark Thirty”...I wanted to read it. I signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement and reading it only convinced me further that I wanted a film like this, a global film, to come out of India, on a global story like this.”