Kathryn Bigelow returns behind the camera this year with Zero Dark Thirty, her first feature since triumphing at the Oscars with The Hurt Locker, which went head-to-head with Avatar and came away with six of its nine nominations.

Zero Dark Thirty will no doubt be one of the most intriguing and potentially controversial films of the year, chronicling real-life decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden following 9/11, which culminated in his death in May last year, and now Sony have released the first trailer for the anticipated thriller, along with the first official images from EW.

The cast is one of the best of the year, headed up by Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Joel Edgerton, Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Scott Adkins, Jennifer Ehle, Chris Pratt, Édgar Ramirez, Frank Grillo, Nash Edgerton, and a welcome surprise in Mark Duplass, with Ricky Sekhon taking the role of bin Laden himself.

Bigelow is teaming up once more with writer Mark Boal, who won an Academy Award for his screenplay for The Hurt Locker, with the two producing alongside the increasingly-brilliant Megan Ellison (True Grit, the upcoming The Master).

Zero Dark Thirty will hit US theatres on 19th December this year, making it a prime candidate for another awards run following Bigelow’s success with The Hurt Locker. No word on a UK release yet, but we can expect it to reach us late this year or early next year. Let us know what you think of this first trailer in the comments below. Do you think it could be on your final Top 10 of 2012 list come the year’s end? As usual with the images below, you can click to enlarge.

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