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New reports have confirmed that yet another movie about the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 is now in the works, and not only is Mark Wahlberg now set to produce, but he is also reportedly in pole position to play the lead role.
According to Deadline, proud Bostonian Mark Wahlberg wants to portray Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis in CBS Films’ Patriots’ Day. Davis was the man who led the manhunt for the two Chechen suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The movie is apparently now being fast-tracked by CBS Films, and the script that they ordered from Matt Charman is reportedly close to being completed. Once it is, Mark Wahlberg and the other producers on the movie will be tasked with finding the right director for the project.
Patriots’ Day will tell the story of the day of the bombing and the subsequent four-day manhunt that resulted in the capture of both Tsarnaevs. In order to aid their interpretation of these events, the production has been assisted by research collected and footage shot by CBS’ 60 Minutes program. Michael Radutsky is the 60 Minutes senior producer who was instrumental in creating a segment that covered the bombings, which is set to benefit Patriots’ Day greatly. You can check out the 13-minute story, which heavily features Ed Davis, on Page Two of this story.
Despite not baring any resemblance to Ed Davis, Mark Wahlberg would be a sensible choice to portray the police commissioner. Wahlberg’s everyman sensibility and popularity has grown with every passing film, and his eclectic resume, which over the last five years has included David O. Russell’s The Fighter , Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age Of Extinction, and Seth MacFarlane’s Ted, proves that his likability can stretch across genres. Couple this with his proud Boston roots and the innate interest that will come with an adaptation of this tragedy, and it’s clear to see why Patriots’ Day has been fast-tracked.
But there’s another reason why CBS Films are rushing to get Patriots’ Day out as soon as possible. Both Fox and Lionsgate also have their own Boston bombings films in development too. RoboCop’s Joshua Zetumer is currently re-writing Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson’s adaptation of Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge’s book, Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph Over Tragedy for Fox, which also has Safe House director Daniel Espinosa attached (Casey Affleck is attached to star). Fox has even predicted that they’ll have cameras rolling at April’s Boston Marathon ahead of extensive shooting later this year.
Meanwhile, according to Variety, Lionsgate are developing Stronger, which will tell the story of Jeff Bauman, who lost both of his legs in the Boston bombings. Stronger is based on Bauman and Bret Witter’s book of the same name. Jeff Bauman was waiting at the finish line the moment the blast went off, and a day after he had surgery to remove both of his legs, unable to speak, he wrote on a pad, "Saw the guy. Looked right at me."
Stronger is likely to be produced regardless of the race between Patriots’ Day and Fox’s Boston Strong adaptation, since it will be more reflective and character driven, as it will focus on Bauman’s recovery and his attempts to walk again. But both Fox and CBS Films will know that it’s crucial that they get their film out before the other, and at the moment they appear to be neck and neck in their pursuits to do just that.
Now head over to Page Two to watch the 60 Minutes story that helped inspire the film!