Director Kathryn Bigelow’s on the set of her Bin Laden Thriller “Zero Dark Thirty”

*The trailer for Kathryn Bigelow’s forthcoming film about the killing of Osama bin Laden, “Zero Dark Thirty,” has been released online ahead of its December opening in theaters … just after the presidential election, and with the man who ordered the killing not depicted in the film at all, according to the co-screenwriter.

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The Dec 19 release, according to UK’s Guardian, is meant to calm down Republican politicians who got flustered thinking the movie might influence voters by portraying Obama in a flattering light. Bigelow’s project drew criticism from the right earlier this year after it emerged that the president’s administration shared information with the production team. New York congressman Peter King, chair of the house homeland security committee, has questioned whether it was right to share “confidential” details.

Bigelow’s co-screenwriter Mark Boal, a former freelance war journalist, denied there was any political motivation behind the film’s release in his interview with Entertainment Weekly. “There’s no political agenda in the film. Full stop. Period,” he said. “A lot of people are going to be surprised when they see the film. For example, the president is not depicted in the movie. He’s just not in the movie.”

“Zero Dark Thirty,” starring “The Help’s” Jessica Chastain alongside Joel Edgerton, Mark Duplass, Kyle Chandler and Mark Strong,  centers on the Navy Seal unit that raided Bin Laden’s compound in northern Pakistan on May 2, 2011 on the orders President Barack Obama, killing the al-Qaeda leader in a covert operation.

Bigelow, an Oscar winner for directing “The Hurt Locker,” had been planning a film about the hunt for Bin Laden long before last year’s events. She and Boal, who also won two Oscars for “The Hurt Locker,” were therefore first out of the block in terms of bringing the story to the big screen, reports UK’s The Guardian. Other projects were at one time said to be under way with involvement from George Clooney and perennial historical controversialist Oliver Stone, though neither has yet entered production.

Bigelow told Entertainment Weekly the film’s title was a military term. “[It means] 30 minutes after midnight, and it refers also to the darkness and secrecy that cloaked the entire decade long mission,” she said.

Boal added: “I’m fascinated by people who dedicate themselves to really difficult and dangerous things for the greater good. I think they’re heroic and I’m intrigued by them. I’m fascinated by the world they inhabit. I personally want to know how they caught bin Laden. All I can do is hope that it interests other people.”

Watch the trailer below.