With "The Hurt Locker," Kathryn Bigelow earned comparisons to the modern master of finding character in action, Sam Peckinpah. She did the action her own way, imbuing today's jittery hand-held techniques with ferocious emotional intelligence and a keen intellectual command of her subject (a bomb-defusing team in Iraq).
But Bigelow and her screenwriter, Mark Boal, were also echoing the Michael Mann of "The Jericho Mile" and "The Insider" and the David Simon of "The Corner" and "The Wire" in their marriage of hard-edged journalism and incisive dramatic techniques.
From a report in The Wrap, it sounds like they'll go even farther in that direction with a new film set on the criminal borderland of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.
Tom Hanks will star in the movie, which has been called both "Triple Frontier" and "Sleeping Dogs" (I vote for the former title).
It will be great if Hanks really stretches for this crackerjack directing-writing team. Especially if Bigelow and Boal do what they did in "The Hurt Locker": immerse their actors in reality and inspire them to live by their wits for the camera.
Filming starts in mid-March. Can't wait.
Photo of Bigelow at the Charles in 2009 by Barbara Haddock Taylor