CIA director criticises Kathryn Bigelow's 'Zero Dark Thirty'
Michael Morell says Osama bin Laden hunt film is 'not a realistic portrayal of facts'
Zero Dark Thirty follows the true story of the hunt for Osama bin Laden following the September 11 attacks of 2001, which lasted for a nearly a decade until the terrorist leader's assassination by US Navy SEALs in May 2011. The film's screenplay was written by Mark Boal, who also scripted Bigelow's Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker.
However, Morell has slammed the film, which is due out in UK cinemas on January 25, in a statement published on the CIA's public website and claimed it "takes significant artistic licence, while portraying itself as being historically accurate".
The Golden Globe-nominated film has been on the receiving end of criticism in the US for scenes that suggest that extreme torture methods were used to find out the location of Osama Bin Laden. This is a subject in which Morell has highlighted in his letter.
"The film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation programme were the key to finding Bin Laden. That impression is false," he wrote.
He added: "The film takes considerable liberties in its depiction of CIA personnel and their actions, including some who died while serving our country. We cannot allow a Hollywood film to cloud our memory of them."
The film stars Jessica Chastain, who has picked up a Golden Globe nomination for her performance and is considered a strong contender for the best actress award at next year's Oscars. The cast also includes Joel Edgerton James Gandolfini, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler and Taylor Kinney. Scroll down and click to view the latest trailer.