Clooney's Al-Qaeda driver defence
George Clooney's Smoke House company is producing The Challenge which has just announced a writer. The film centres on the driver of Osama Bin Laden who underwent a U.S. military trial after being caught with two missiles in his car and was sentenced to five and a half years for providing material support to a terrorist organisation.
However the film isn't set to concentrate on the trial, which you would think would be the obvious choice, instead it will look at the efforts of the two lawyers who sue the President of the United States over the case as they believe that the government has violated their Constitution and broken the law.
The story from Variety reveals that the writer up for the job is Aaron Sorkin, and that George Clooney is eyeing the role of Navy Lawyer Charles Swift, one of the lawyers who takes on the case. So far there's no word on who could play the second lawyer Georgetown University law professor Neal Katyal.
Sorkin will write the story based on the novel The Challenge: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the Fight Over Presidential Power (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com), the writer is responsible for Charlie Wilson's War and The Trial of the Chicago 7, so he does have some similar hard hitting credentials for the project. Mind you, he's also writing the Facebook film.
Interesting story it certainly is, but is the real story here the case against the President, or the wider issues of military trials and internment in locations such as Guantanamo Bay?
Certainly when I heard about this project back in August of last year I really did think that was what they were going for, more of the story of the trial and imprisonment of Salim Hamdan, a man who was found not guilty of terrorism by the U.S. military court because he was just a guy who knew nothing about Jahid and was just trying to earn some money driving Bin Laden, protecting him and doing errands.
There was the hope that the film was going to look at the Navy lawyer's attempts to bring the Geneva Convention rights to the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and other such locations. Now, this might not be the case. Perhaps that's too much to ask so soon, after all the ex-President is now fair game isn't he?