When people hear “ISIS” a feeling of fear, hate, or a combination of the two begins to occupy their minds. Recent events involving the infamous terrorist organization have left countless lives destroyed in the aftermath of heartless and violent attacks. Still, aside from the rage and sadness that accompanies the name, there remains a profound curiosity in regards to the “how and why” behind ISIS and its beginnings. According to Deadline, HBO has ordered a mini-series developed by Bradley Cooper and executive produced by Todd Phillips, based on the Pulitzer prize winning book Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick, which covers the groups conception in a Jordanian prison to its rise in power in Syria.
Upon completing the book, Cooper was inspired to adapt the story into a limited series and reached out to Warrick to pitch the idea. Cooper sought out Phillips, who he previously worked with on The Hangover and the TV series Limitless, and the two ventured to meet Warrick in his hometown to pitch their idea for the project and discuss Warrick’s involvement in it. The project would go on to include bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz, who was chosen to adapt the novel for the small screen. Helmer Tim Van Patten (Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire) would later join the team as director and executive producer for the series. The series will be produced by Cooper and Phillips’ production company Joint Effort, which will also be seeing its first film release this year with the upcoming War Dogs.
Cooper has ventured into the world of war and politics before, portraying the Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in the 2014 film American Sniper. Cooper also attended the 2016 Democratic National Convention, which sparked outrage amongst some on social media who felt that his support for the Democratic party somehow disgraced and insulted the conservative values of Chris Kyle, and those who assumed that because he played that role he must be a republican. Perhaps Cooper is just too good of an actor for his own good.
Bradley Cooper, how could you POSSIBLY play the hero Chris Kyle so well and then surround yourself w/anti-Americans? https://t.co/DQQkyW3ss8
— Mitch (@LibsRCrazy) July 28, 2016
Though some may feel that turning something so serious into a form of entertainment is shameful or inappropriate, their is no argument against the fact that a huge portion of society gains their information from the small screen. In order to spread information successfully, you must use the must popular and successful platforms, and if some show interest beyond the realm of entertainment, then more people will be informed on the issues and events that are currently affecting people around the globe. Black Flags, and the effort of those behind it, holds the potential to guide peoples attention towards these issues and spark a bigger, more informed, and more unified movement to prevent the spread of further hate and disasters.