How Michael Bay’s Benghazi Movie Could Threaten Hillary Clinton’s Campaign

Director’s action movie “13 Hours” will dredge up former Secretary of State’s biggest controversies days before she faces voters at Iowa caucuses

Paramount Pictures; Getty Images

Michael Bay‘s talent for explosions may extend to the political sphere, as the director’s upcoming action movie about the 2012 deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi will hit theaters just before Hillary Clinton faces Democratic primary voters for the first time.

“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” starring John Krasinski, will be released by Paramount on January 15. That’s roughly two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, the first round of voting in the presidential election in which Clinton’s handling of Benghazi as Secretary of State has become a major issue.

The studio insisted that it chose the movie’s release date without regard to the election or to Clinton’s campaign — though any mainstream movie dredging up one of her biggest controversies is bound to be unwelcome to the Democratic frontrunner.

“MLK weekend has been a historically great date as evidence by the success of ‘American Sniper’ and ‘Lone Survivor,’” a Paramount spokesperson told TheWrap on Wednesday, citing two recent January releases depicting heroic but tragic U.S. military operations.

“We believe mid-January will offer the best window after the film is completed to promote and release the film,” the spokesperson added.

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that studio executives considered moving the movie’s release date until after the Iowa caucuses, but then determined that would just place the movie in the midst of the primary season.

It’s not known if Clinton is depicted in any way in the finished version of “13 Hours,” which depicts the efforts of CIA security contractors to defend the compound when it came under attack by militants. In addition to Krasinski, the cast includes James Badge Dale and Pablo Schreiber.

House Republicans investigated Clinton’s handling of the incident, which led to discovery of the private email account she used to conduct government business.