Last week, word came out that Jake Gyllenhaal was in talks to star in David Gordon Green's Stronger, a film about the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. I mentioned that multiple studios were developing movies about the event, and now we have news about one of those competing projects: Variety reports that Lone Survivor director Peter Berg is in final negotiations to direct Patriots' Day, a film that recounts the events of the tragedy from the perspective of Boston Police commissioner Ed Davis.
Mark Wahlberg is producing the film and is reportedly circling the role of Davis (because of course Wahlberg would be first in line to play a Boston police commissioner) but he hasn't signed a deal yet; scheduling may be an issue. But it wouldn't surprise me to see these two reunite on this project, considering they've worked together before (including on Deepwater Horizon).
There's another competing movie in development called Boston Strong which had Casey Affleck interested in starring, but there hasn't been any movement on that film in a while. My take on all this? I don't think we need three separate Boston Marathon bombing movies. I feel like there comes a point at which it feels like studios are exploiting a tragedy in order to make money from it, and I don't see a need to rehash this out over and over again on the big screen. A case could be made that it sends the wrong kind of message, that terrorists who succeed in heinous acts like these will be immortalized in star-studded movies — which is exactly the kind of attention their twisted minds are probably hoping for.
I'm hoping at least two of these projects don't move forward — not because I wish any ill will on any of the talent or crew involved, but just because I don't know if it's necessary to tell this story multiple times on film over the span of a year or two.