Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ teases the hunt for Bin Laden

Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar-winning “The Hurt Locker” changed her career and redefined her for audiences and studios alike.  It was a great moment for a director who had been working in the margins for a while at that point, and there has been a great deal of attention on her follow-up to that film as a result.

Now, finally, we’ve got a trailer for “Zero Dark Thirty,” which reunites her with “Hurt Locker” screenwriter Mark Boal.  Even before Osama Bin Laden was actually killed, they were hard at work on a story about the hunt for the elusive Al Queda leader, and when he was found and killed, they were deep into pre-production.  They were happy to reconfigure their film, though, since real life was kind enough to give them the perfect third act for the film.

This is a teaser in every sense of the term.  There’s very little actual footage here.  It’s more mood and little snippets of soundtrack and a couple of quick glimpses of cast.  She’s lined up an amazing collection of actors for the film, so I’m hoping there’s another trailer soon that shows us more of the cast together.  Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Mark Strong, Jennifer Ehle, Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler, Harold Perrineau, Edgar Ramirez, Mark Duplass, Stephen Dillane and ass-kicker supreme Scott Adkins are all part of the ensemble, and I think Chastain is the only one I was able to actually spot in the trailer.

Honestly, though, Bigelow is the real star here.  I was an early fan of “The Loveless” and “Near Dark,” and I enjoyed her work on films like “Point Break” and “Strange Days” more than I enjoyed the films themselves.  But it seemed like Hollywood never really knew what to do with her specific talents, so “The Hurt Locker” was more than just a hit for her… it was a vindication.

Will “Zero Dark Thirty” be another major hit for her?  She’s certainly got a dynamic story to tell and the tools to tell it, and I can’t wait to see it.

“Zero Dark Thirty” arrives in theaters December 19, 2012.