Fans of season two of the hit podcast Serial know that Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal were working on the film version of the Bowe Bergdahl story. Now, the duo are deserting that idea for the time being and instead taking on the Detroit race riots of 1967. Bigelow is set to direct and produce a script by Boal.
Annapurna’s Megan Ellison and Matthew Budman are set to produce as well. The film will mark Bigelow’s tenth time directing a feature. Bigelow and Boal previously teamed up on “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” among others.
Deadline reports that principal photography will be carried out this summer, with an estimated release date of 2017 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the riots. The film will take place in 1967 and cover the riots, which rocked the city for five days during the summer of that year. The riots were one of the most violent revolts of the 20th century. 43 people died and almost 700 were wounded.
As for the Bowe Bergdahl story, Boal told Deadline that the film will still happen eventually. Bergdahl is a United States Army soldier who was held captive by the Taliban for five years after he deserted his post in Afghanistan. He was released in exchange for five Guantanamo Bay detainees and was later tried for desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. His court martial trial was recently pushed until the summer, which explains the decision to shelve the film for now.
Boal said of the decision, “Nobody in Washington predicted that Bowe’s journey would take so many twists and turns and would continue to be unresolved.” He continued, “I certainly didn’t see it coming and I was working on this other story at the same time. It’s also a very timely tale that deals with systemic racism in a way I think is relevant to contemporary audiences. It felt like the right thing to do was to go ahead with the Detroit project, which was finished, and tell that story now. We will circle back to Bergdahl when the military proceedings are resolved.”
The newly announced film has yet to be named.