Written By September/October 2011 : Page 23

the Enemy Team” for Rolling Stone (April 14, 2011), about U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan murdering and mutilating civilians. Lawrence Wright is a novelist, playwright, and author as well as screenwriter. While a conscientious objector during the Viet-nam War, he was required to teach English in Egypt, where he studied Arabic and began to formally investigate Middle East culture and politics. His original 1996 script, Blowback, eerily prophesied 9/11 and became the basis for The Siege [story by Lawrence Wright, screenplay by Lawrence Wright and Menno Meyjes & Edward Zwick]. A staff writer for the New Yorker, Wright’s books include The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, which won the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction in 2007. He adapted the book for the stage as My Trip to Al-Qaeda, performing it himself. Alex Gibney’s documen-tary based on the play is also written by Wright. Richard Stayton: Let’s begin with Osama bin Laden, since you’ve Written by RichaRd Stayton both written extensively about his impact and influence. Mark Boal: I’m in the middle of researching the intelligence and hunt that led to the May 1 raid [and Osama bin Laden’s death]. It’s a professional interest of mine, but it’s also per-sonal. The guy attacked my hometown. I’m a New Yorker. And I was just saying to somebody the other day that he really did, in so many ways, define to me the past 10 years of not just American foreign policy but also the kind of cultural vibe that 9/11 created. Lawrence Wright: I agree. Bin Laden infected our imagination in a way that has been very deleterious. You have to give him credit for having a cinematic imagination, maybe more than most of us in the film business. Had we put what he did in a movie before 9/11, it would have been seen as too Hollywood. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 WGA W Written By • 23

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