Anthony Breznican
January 05, 2012 AT 12:00 PM EST

It’s the graceful, delicate mom from The Tree of Life vs. the most repellent terrorist in the world.

Guess who wins?

Jessica Chastain is in talks to co-star in director Kathryn Bigelow’s upcoming film about the death of Osama bin Laden, according to sources close to the project.

Meanwhile, more ominous news shadowed the film as the cast was being assembled. The Pentagon’s inspector general announced an investigation into whether the Defense Department improperly shared information about the raid with the filmmakers.

Representatives for Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal declined to comment. Chances are, given the investigation, they will stay tight-lipped on the subject for a while. Sony representatives say they also prefer not to comment at this time.

Chastain, who broke big this year in The Tree of Life and The Help, would not play one of the SEAL Team 6 members who actually conducted the raid, but will be going through intense training for her as-yet-unspecified role. While she’s known for her range in a number of movies last year, they have tended to be more fragile figures, though she did show her tough side as a novice Mossad agent seeking a Nazi war criminal in John Madden’s The Debt.

Chastain had a busy 2011, and 2012 looks to be equally intense. Chastain, who recently wrapped work on the Guillermo del Toro-produced horror film Mama, will also be making her Broadway debut later this year in an adaptation of Henry James’ The Heiress.

Sony Pictures intends to release the untitled bin Laden movie on Dec. 19, 2012. Bigelow, who won director and best picture Oscars for the Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker, has been working on the project with Boal (who also won a screenwriting Oscar and shared the best picture honor) since before the May 2011 attack that killed bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

History just happened to give them a much more compelling ending.

Deadline reported Thursday that two other actors are also circling the project: Mark Strong and Edgar Ramirez.

On Twitter: @Breznican

Read more:

Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden drama gets December 2012 release

Kathryn Bigelow was already working on ‘Kill Bin Laden’ before the U.S. killed Bin Laden

Sony lands Osama bin Laden film by ‘Hurt Locker’ director Kathryn Bigelow

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