Kathryn Bigelow’s Next Film Will Be a Crime Drama Set in ’60s Detroit

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There was some expectation in the film world that the next film from Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, her longtime writer and collaborator, would take as its subject the strange case of military deserter Bowe Bergdahl that is now being investigated in the second season of the podcast Serial. Boal has done extensive reporting for the show, but for the moment that project has been put on standby. Instead, the next film from Boal and Bigelow (the Oscar-winning director of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty) will tackle the 1967 race riots in Detroit. The crime drama, as yet untitled, will start shooting this summer, with an eye on a 2017 release date to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the riots. Boal has been researching this film for a year now, and told Deadline that he and Bigelow will come back to the Bergdahl case when there’s a resolution—Bergdahl’s trial for desertion has not yet been resolved.

“Nobody in Washington predicted that Bowe’s journey would take so many twists and turns and would continue to be unresolved,” Boal said. “I certainly didn’t see it coming and I was working on this other story at the same time. It’s also a very timely tale that deals with systemic racism in a way I think is relevant to contemporary audiences. It felt like the right thing to do to go ahead with the Detroit project.”