There are no less than three movies in development about the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing that killed three people and injured more than 260 others. When movies with similar stories come out close to each other, the first one to the theater usually wins the box office battle, and now the Mark Wahlberg-produced Patriots’ Day has taken a big step forward, hiring a director well-suited to the material.
Variety reports that CBS Films has hired Battleship director Peter Berg to helm their Boston Marathon Bombing picture. Patriots’ Day is said to focus more on the manhunt for the bombers and is described as a thriller, something Berg is well suited to. This won’t be the first time that he has worked from a real life story, either, as Lone Survivor, Friday Night Lights, and the upcoming Deepwater Horizon are all based on true events.
Patriots’ Day is based on the account of Ed Davis, the police commissioner of Boston at the time. CBS acquired his life rights to use, and will also employ other details from the events of April 15, 2013. They’re also working in conjunction with 60 Minutes, which ran a story featuring Davis after the attack. Matt Charmon, who penned the upcoming Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks espionage thriller Bridge of Spies is working on the script.
Wahlberg himself is said to be interested in playing Davis, though the intricacies of scheduling when you’re a major Hollywood star may complicate things. Still, he worked with Peter Berg on Lone Survivor and they’re currently filming the action drama Deepwater Horizon, based on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, so perhaps this will tempt Wahlberg into taking the part. And for his part, Berg still has to film the action flick Mile 22 with UFC champ Ronda Rousey and The Raid’s Iko Uwais, so we’ll have to wait and see on this front.
Of the two other Boston Marathon Bombing films in the works, Lionsgate’s Stronger appears to be leading the pack at the moment. Based on the book of the same name by Jeff Bauman, a survivor of the attack who lost both of his legs in the blast while waiting for his girlfriend, that film chronicles his efforts to recover from and rehab his injuries as well as his role as a key witness in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the bomber who was recently convicted and sentenced to death. Stronger signed on director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) and Jake Gyllenhaal has been circling the lead role.
In addition to Patriots’ Day and Stronger, a project called Boston Strong, starring native son Casey Affleck, is also in the works. However, that film suffered a set back a few months ago as director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) split from the production citing the ubiquitous "creative differences," and as of now there has been no word on a replacement.
It will be interesting to see how this situation develops, and if all three movies continue down the road to production, or if one or another bows out.