Zero Dark Thirty screenwriter Mark Boal is suing the U.S. government to block a legal threat from army officials.
Boal, who in addition to penning Zero Dark Thirty won two Oscars for his work on the 2008 war film The Hurt Locker, received a subpoena requesting he turn over 25 hours of tape he recorded for the second series of the hit podcast Serial.
The tapes feature interviews he conducted with Bowe Bergdahl, a former U.S. soldier captured by Taliban forces in Afghanistan in 2009.
Bergdahl, who was released in 2014 and received a hero's welcome at the White House, was subsequently investigated for desertion and now faces court martial proceedings.
According to a lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles court on Thursday (21Jul16) army officials are demanding all of Boal's tapes, excerpts of which aired as part of the Serial podcast last year (15).
The suit, which names U.S. President Barack Obama as well as army officials, argues that the request for the tapes violates the former war correspondent's right to press freedom under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
In a statement obtained by America's Variety magazine, Boal's attorney Jean-Paul Jassy said, "Mark Boal fully supports the military justice system and believes that Bergdahl has to face the music in a fair judicial process.
"But Boal is a civilian and a journalist, and under the First Amendment, he should not be hauled into a military court to divulge his unpublished and confidential materials. We are asking the federal court in Los Angeles to protect Mark Boal's constitutional rights."
The journalist-turned-film scribe is seeking an injunction to prevent the subpoena from being carried out.
Bowe Bergdahl's court martial date is set for February next year (17).