The New York Times reports that Kushner was asked last year to rework an earlier script penned by Eric Roth ("Forrest Gump") for the Spielberg project. The controversial film, according to the Times, concerns the "secret Mossad hit squad ordered to assassinate Palestinian terrorists after the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich." Kushner was hired, the Times reports, "to humanize what [Spielberg] felt was too procedural a thriller in Mr. Roth's telling." The as-of-yet untitled film will star Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Geoffrey Rush, Mathieu Kassovitz, Hanns Zischler and Ciaran Hinds. Filming will continue in Malta, Budapest and New York; Universal Pictures plans to release the film Dec. 23, 2005.
About the new film, director Spielberg — currently represented on screens across the country with the Tom Cruise "War of the Worlds" — said in a statement, "Viewing Israel's response to Munich through the eyes of the men who were sent to avenge that tragedy adds a human dimension to a horrific episode that we usually think about only in political or military terms. By experiencing how the implacable resolve of these men to succeed in their mission slowly gave way to troubling doubts about what they were doing, I think we can learn something important about the tragic standoff we find ourselves in today."
Tony Kushner won back-to-back Tony Awards for his two-part epic Angels in America. The first half, Millennium Approaches, won the 1993 Best Play Tony and the second, Perestroika, was awarded the 1994 Best Play prize. His other works include A Bright Room Called Day, Slavs!: Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness, Henry Box Brown, The Mirror of Slavery and Homebody/Kabul.