With the news that Paul Greengrass'United 93 will have its world premiere at this month's Tribeca Film Festival with a very low-key event, open only to the families of victims, first responders and festival staff, it's clear that 2006 will finally be the year in which we bring 9/11 to the big screen.
Sure, there have been 9/11 related short films, indie pics and documentaries that have come before, playing to very small audiences with not much press, but with United 93 and Oliver Stone's upcoming film, World Trade Center, Hollywood seems to be officially announcing that it's time. But is it? The topic has been debated for a long time now: Who, what, where and how do we cover 9/11 so that it's tasteful and doesn't offend those who were most affected by the tragedy? Do we hire A-list actors to play roles? Is that too Hollywood? Should we hire unknowns so that people can connect with the characters more? We've spoken so much about 9/11, practically moved in and shared every waking minute with that day for a long time afterward - do we even need a movie? And then another movie? And then what's next?
Perhaps Hollywood should have tackled the issue sooner, when it was fresh, to help more with the healing and understanding of what took place. Or maybe we should wait another five years, until President Bush is out of office and all the probes into why, who, what, when and how finally come to an end? So, I ask you: Is it too early or too late for 9/11 to come to the big screen?