Mark Wahlberg May Play Real Life Hero in ‘Patriots’ Day’
Mark Wahlberg is bringing another feature film about the Boston Marathon bombing to screen. The actor is teaming with CBS Films to help develop Patriots’ Day, a high-profile project about the 2013 attack and its aftermath.
Patriots’ Day will chronicle the events on the day of the bombing and the subsequent citywide manhunt that resulted in the killing of one of the terrorists and the arrest of the other. Described as a “hero tale for the ages,” the story will be based on the firsthand account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, with additional help from research done and footage shot for a segment on 60 Minutes. Davis played a crucial role working with the FBI, local and state police departments, and first responders to track, find, and detain the suspects.
According to Deadline, the Boston-born Wahlberg hopes to portray Davis as he helps lead the manhunt. The script, which is reportedly nearly completed, is written by Matt Charman, who penned the upcoming Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks Cold War drama Bridge of Spies. Like that film, Patriots’ Day is envisioned as an intense thriller, spanning the lockdown of the city, the multi-day search for the suspects and the now infamous standoff between authorities and the now-imprisoned Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Watertown. Deadline reports that the movie will also likely chronicle the touching memorial ceremony at Fenway Park for victims of the attack.
In addition to potentially starring in the film, the actor is also set to produce. The movie will mark the first time CBS Films teamed with its sibling division, 60 Minutes. Michael Radutzky, a senior producer for 60 Minutes, will also serve as co-producer among others. No director has been set just yet, but the project is reportedly being fast-tracked and the team is looking to bring on an A-list filmmaker as quickly as possible.
“There is nothing more compelling than a real story populated by real heroes,” said CBS Films President Terry Press, per Deadline. “The team that we have assembled for this project is determined to give audiences a very personal look at what occurred during the days when the eyes of the world were on the city of Boston and how a group of contemporary patriots faced this crisis.”
Should the timing of the project move as fast as anticipated, Patriots’ Day could end up going head-to-head with Boston Strong, another much-discussed, major feature film also chronicling the marathon bombing. That film, based on the book of the same name by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge, is set up at Fox. The script, written by Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson and rewritten by Robocop‘s Joshua Zetumer, is already completed. The project also already has a director on board, with Safe House helmer Daniel Espinosa attached. With Fox reportedly making the movie a high priority, both Boston Strong and Patriots’ Day may be on track to start production this year.
While those two films may be in a race to get to the big screen, there’s also a third film about the Boston bombings in the works. Entitled Stronger, that project will be a more reflective telling of the story of Jeff Bauman, based on Bauman and Bret Witter’s book of the same name. Bauman was waiting at the finish line to cheer on his girlfriend when the explosions occurred and lost both legs in the attack. A photo of him, taken moments after the blast, remains one of the most circulated and widely recognized images from the tragedy.
While Patriots’ Day might be one of the most notable projects Wahlberg has in the works, the actor is also set to star in several films over the course of the next year. He’s starring in the April thriller Mojave, June’s Ted 2, and the comedy Daddy’s Home later this year. He’s also expected to appear in the drama Deepwater Horizon and the next Transformers film, both due in 2016.