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August 04, 2016

Bradley Cooper to lead HBO's 'Black Flags' ISIS miniseries

Project will adapt Joby Warrick's Pulitzer Prize-winning work of nonfiction

Back in 2009, Philly-area native Bradley Cooper and director Todd Phillips teamed up for the wildly successful comedy "The Hangover." Seven years later, the pair will join forces again for an HBO miniseries documenting the rise of ISIS in the Middle East.

According to Deadline, Cooper and Phillips will lead in the small screen adaptation of Joby Warrick's 2016 Pulitzer-Prize winning nonfiction book "Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS," to be produced by the duo's Joint Effort outfit.

Warrick's book traces ISIS from its origins in a remote Jordanian prison to the violent warpath across strategic enclaves in Syria and Iraq. During the course of the narrative, Warrick also follows the counterterrorism efforts of American and international agents as they seek to dismantle the organization.

News of the miniseries comes in the wake of a series of violent attacks worldwide, from last November's bombings and mass shootings in Paris to this year's bombings in Brussels, Istanbul, Tunisia, and Iraq. The group has also claimed responsibility for inciting multiple attacks in the United States, including the San Bernardino shooting and the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Neutralizing ISIS has become a persistent theme in the 2016 presidential race as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump vie for an advantage on the issue of national security. In a Pew Research Center poll published last month, American voters listed terrorism as the second most important voting issue in 2016,  a rebound from MSNBC's February poll that suggested terrorism was fading as a paramount issue in the November election. 

Cooper, who received a 2015 Oscar nomination for Best Actor in "American Sniper," recently expressed shock over a conservative backlash against his appearance at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. He and Phillips also co-produced the upcoming biographical comedy "War Dogs," which tells the story of two young men who end up in some shady business after winning a $300 million contract to arm the Afghan military.

For HBO's "Black Flags," Cooper and Phillips will executive produce with assistance from writer Gregg Hurwitz and director Tim Van Patten. A timeline for the project has yet to be announced.

The trailer for "War Dogs," which premieres August 19, can be viewed below.