Is Kathryn Bigelow’s 2012 Thriller an October Surprise, Hollywood Style?

Navy SEAL Team 6’s successful mission to find and kill Islamic super-terrorist Osama Bin Laden, the architect of 9/11, is the subject of a forthcoming feature film from Kathryn Bigelow (below) and Mark Boal, the same directing-writing team behind brilliant 2008 Oscar winner The Hurt Locker.

So far known as “Untitled International Thriller” on IMDB, the film’s cast includes Australian-born actor Joel Edgerton, who appeared in the much admired Animal Kingdom and will be seen later this year in Warrior and a remake of The Thing.

Here’s the most interesting aspect, so far: The film, which focuses on an American military triumph credited to the Obama Administration, is slated for release on Oct. 12, 2012, just a few weeks before the next U.S. presidential election. Political strategists have already pointed to the Bin Laden killing as an accomplishment likely to receive top billing during Obama’s campaign.

Is the timing a coincidence?

Perhaps even more controversial is the possibility, as suggested in a piece by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, that the filmmakers received classified information about the mission from the administration. Representative Peter King (R-NY) is seeking an investigation into that question, according to a story by Mike Fleming, of

Bigelow and Boal, in response, released the following statement: ““Our upcoming film project about the decade long pursuit of Bin Laden has been in the works for many years and integrates the collective efforts of three administrations, including those of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, as well as the cooperative strategies and implementation by the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency. Indeed, the dangerous work of finding the world’s most wanted man was carried out by individuals in the military and intelligence communities who put their lives at risk for the greater good without regard for political affiliation. This was an American triumph, both heroic, and non-partisan and there is no basis to suggest that our film will represent this enormous victory otherwise.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney dismissed King’s concerns as “ridiculous.”

Of course, there’s one way to ensure that folks don’t view the film as meant to boost the prospects of one presidential candidate: delay the film’s release until after the election.