Michael Bay May Direct Benghazi Movie ’13 Hours’

Michael Bay benghazi

Michael Bay is in talks to direct a Benghazi movie. The film in question is 13 Hours, based on the book 13 Hours: A Firsthand Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi by Mitchell Zuckoff. Paramount optioned that book prior to publication, and Chuck Hogan has scripted an adaptation. The deal isn’t set yet, but few things seem like such an appropriately Bizarro World choice as having Bay turn the Benghazi attacks — an awful situation regardless of politics —  into an action movie.

Deadline and Variety report on the deal. If you live in the US you’ve heard the evolving arguments over Benghazi for the past two years.

The basics are that on September 11 2012, the U.S. Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA Annex in Benghazi, Libya were attacked by Islamic militants. At the compound, U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith were killed; at the annex a few hours later Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty were killed. Ten other Americans were injured; around 100 attackers were killed in the fight.

The controversy over Benghazi came afterward. Was the attack pre-planned, or a spontaneous angry response to the Innocence of Muslim video that had recently become a viral talking point? Accusations were made that the Obama administration politicized the attack in order to curry favor just prior to the 2012 Presidential Election. (Those accusations were made in part by people who rapidly politicized Benghazi in the other direction as their own political currency.)

There were also claims that the state department had under-prepared the embassy for attack (very possible), and that US leaders watched the attack and did nothing (nope), denied request for backup (nope) and even told defenders to stand down (once again, nope).

As the title might suggest, the book and likely this film take place on the day of the attacks. So the primary focus will be the attacks themselves, and those who attempted to repel them. There’s still room to engage a lot of the background, the political arguments, and even the truther theories that have sprung up related to the attacks. (In fact, the book 13 Hours does get into the supposed “stand down” order, claiming that a CIA chief at the annex issued it on his own authority when men there wanted to move to help defend the first attack site.)

In general, expect to see a film that tells a story of courage (on the part of the defenders) and sacrifice on the part of those whose lives were lost. But seeing how Bay will engage and/or avoid the political cloud around Benghazi will be the interesting part if he ends up taking the job.

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