President Barack Obama will be featured front and center in an upcoming film which telling the story of the heroics of the elite SEAL team who brought down Osama bin Laden, thanks to heavy re-editing, it has been revealed.
SEAL Team Six: The Raid On Osama Bin Laden, backed by Academy Award-winning producer Harvey Weinstein, is set to air on November 4, two days before the election, and has been re-cut from its original format to feature more prominently the Commander-in-Chief.
But news of the edit has sparked an outcry with some Republicans who alleged that Harvey Weinstein, who is a known supporter of the president, is trying to sway the election.
According to the New York Times, which was provided an advanced copy of the film, additional documentary footage was added in, showing Barack Obama’s behind-the-scenes role during the covert operation.
There is a cut of Barack Obama a night before the raid at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, as well as a shot of the president taking a lonely walk.
The film also includes Barack Obama saying: “Justice has been done,” the Times reported.
The 90-minute drama, which is set to air on the National Geographic channel on November 4, focuses on SEAL Team Six and their dangerous mission to bring down the former al-Qaeda leader. A streaming version will be available 24 hours after the first air date on Netflix.
Because it focuses on one of the president’s shining moments in office, Republicans have blasted the network for being partisan.
An article on Fox Nation is entitled “Hollywood editing movies to help Obama win”, though it links back to the original New York Times article.
One angry commenter on the Fox Nation site wrote: “Democrats will do ANYTHING to re-elect Obama…I don’t even want to ponder what they may try to do next.”
However, National Geographic Chanel’s president Howard T. Owens told the Hollywood Reporter earlier this month that the claims were not the case, saying simply: “We’re not trying for this to be political film.”
Rather, Howard T. Owens said that the movie was a “great opportunity” to turn potential viewers on some of their other programs in its fall schedule.
He also told the Times in a phone interview Tuesday that a scene featuring Mitt Romney appearing to oppose the raid was removed.
“We wouldn’t air this if it were propaganda,” he explained.
The president and his campaign had nothing to do with the creation of the movie, Harvey Weinstein said.
The producer also noted that he has been a supporter of Republican candidates, like New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The Times reported that Harvey Weinstein purchased the rights to the movie for around $2.5 million at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The Weinstein Co. film is directed by John Stockwell, known for directing Top Gun and Turistas.
It was produced by Harvey Weinstein, along with The Hurt Locker’s Nicolas Chartier.
John Stockwell told the Times on Tuesday that the re-edit was meant to bring a deeper sense of reality to it.
Harvey Weinstein added that some of the footage was collected by producer Meghan O’Hara, who has in turn worked for polarizing documentarian Michael Moore on projects like Sicko and Fahrenheit 9/11.
The film comes ahead of December’s bigger-budget Zero Dark Thirty, directed by The Hurt Locker’s Kathryn Bigelow, which will be released by Sony Pictures.