Kathryn Bigelow Is Now Directing a Different Apocalyptic Thriller for Netflix — Report

It was reported last month that Kathryn Bigelow had dropped out of directing an adaptation of the apocalyptic David Koepp novel “Aurora” for Netflix as new film chief Dan Lin was starting his role. But one of Lin’s first green lights will reportedly be a different Bigelow film with a similarly apocalyptic bent.

According to a report in Puck, “The Hurt Locker” director Bigelow has been tapped to direct a thriller about the White House’s real-time response efforts to an incoming ballistic missile attack on American soil. The script for the film is written by Noah Oppenheim (“Jackie,” “The Maze Runner”), and the project is expected to be formally announced when Netflix hosts its Upfronts presentation to advertisers next week.

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Puck also reported that despite the green light, Bigelow was “visibly annoyed” in regards to notes from Lin asking for the film to cut its budget and length. The report adds that Bigelow has worked out the budget issues and is moving forward with the project.

Netflix did not respond to IndieWire’s request for comment.

Bigelow was reported back in 2022 to be directing a feature adaptation of “Aurora” from author Koepp, a story about “characters who are coping with the collapse of the social order, set against a catastrophic worldwide power crisis.” The New York Times reported in April that Bigelow left the project months earlier, one example of how Netflix appears to be moving away from some of its expensive, auteur-driven properties. The NYT piece mentioned a similar spat over budget concerns between Netflix and “All Quiet on the Western Front” director Edward Berger.

Bigelow hasn’t directed a feature since 2017’s “Detroit,” an underrated character study and thriller about racism and police brutality set amid the 1967 Detroit riots.

As for Oppenheim, he’s got a limited series set at Netflix featuring a star-studded cast led by Robert De Niro, Angela Bassett, and Jesse Plemons called “Zero Day,” which is another politically charged conspiracy thriller. Lesli Linka Glatter is directing that series, which is filming now and led people to wrongly assume that a viral video of De Niro acting in the series was instead him yelling at Pro-Palestinian protestors.

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