Last Best Chance

A gripping docudrama aired on HBO about the threats posed by loosely secured nuclear weapons and materials around the world

Challenge

How can we create vivid connections for general audiences between nuclear terrorism and the policies that need to be changed?

Action

Create a docudrama that accurately portrays how a terrorist could acquire nuclear material and bomb-making technology.

Results

Hailed as a “wake up call,” Last Best Chance aired on HBO and continues to be used in educational settings. 

Last Best Chance is a gripping docudrama starring actor and former senator Fred Thompson about the threats posed by loosely secured nuclear weapons and materials around the world. NTI produced the program, which aired on HBO, as part of its public education mission.

Following the attacks of September 11th, the 9/11 Commission warned that al-Qaeda had been seeking a nuclear bomb for more than 10 years and urged governments to do more to take the threat off the table.

Last Best Chance, produced in 2005, underscores the stakes in a dramatic depiction of how a terrorist organization could realistically plan and implement the acquisition of nuclear material and bomb-making technology. 

In the movie, al Qaeda operatives organize three separate operations aimed at getting nuclear weapons. The material is then fabricated into three crude nuclear weapons by small groups of trained terrorists, who have recruited bomb-making experts to help them manufacture their weapons.

Governments around the world discover clues to the plot, but are unable to uncover the scheme before the weapons are en route to their destinations. The film clearly demonstrates that the hardest job for terrorists is gaining control of a nuclear weapon or material. Because the governments had failed to take sufficient action to secure or destroy the nuclear weapons material, they are helpless to prevent an attack.

Last Best Chance has been featured on NBC's Meet the PressABC's Nightline, in the New Yorker,  and on wtop.com

Last Best Chance was written and directed by Ben Goddard.

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What They're Saying About Last Best Chance

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett told his shareholders to watch Last Best Chance, calling it “a fictional but not fanciful” scenario. 

“Last Best Chance can increase awareness of the global nuclear terrorism threat. The war on terrorism will not be won until every nuclear stockpile, wherever it may be in the world, is secured and accounted for to stringent and transparent standards.”

–Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)

“When people are moving too slowly to respond to a danger, one option is to make it more vivid. Seeing the danger is the first step to reducing the risk.” 

—Ted Turner, co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative

“A wake-up call for America and the world. We need an all-out effort to lock up weapons-grade nuclear material scattered throughout dozens of countries around the world. If we act now, we can protect the American people and prevent disaster.”

—9/11 Commission Chair and Vice Chair, Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton

Latest Activity

"Last Best Chance" Trailer

"Last Best Chance" was produced with support from the Nuclear Threat Initiative, with additional funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Last Best Chance Premiere

Washington, DC
A screening of the movie "Last Best Chance" was held at the Motion Picture Association of America's Washington, DC office.