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First Look: James Gandolfini’s ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Role Revealed

Entertainment Weekly

Kathryn Bigelow’s highly-anticipated ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ which chronicles the intense mission to track down Osama bin Laden, is coming out in a little over two months from now, but in an unusual revelation, we’re only just now learning about one of the film’s biggest names: James Gandolfini. Turns out Tony Soprano’s formerly secretive role is an instrumental figure in rubbing out the head of al-Qaeda.

In this first look at James Gandolfini’s character, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, he plays Leon Panetta who was the director of the CIA when bin Laden was killed on May 1, 2011. In fact, Panetta was instrumental in crafting the mission that ultimately took out the terrorist leader, so Gandolfini’s presence in the film can be expected to be large. (Incidentally, Panetta is currently the U.S. Secretary of Defense.)

It’s unclear why this casting news has been under wraps, but hey, we’re not complaining. It’s actually keeping with the overall veil of secrecy Bigelow’s film has been working under since its announcement. (Even the title was more or less unconfirmed until the teaser trailer was released.) At the end of the day, you can never have too much Gandolfini.

Gandolfini will soon be seen in Andrew Dominik’s ‘Killing Them Softly,’ as well as David Chase’s ‘Not Fade Away.’ He’ll soon also make his return to HBO for ‘Criminal Justice,’ which is expected to air in 2013.

James Gandolfini in 'Zero Dark Thirty'
Columbia Pictures via EW

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