Two years ago, a pair of Islamic extremists committed a horrific act of domestic terrorism by bombing the Boston Marathon—failing to recognize that the Boston Marathon takes place in Boston, where Mark Wahlberg is from. Now that act will receive its inevitable Wahlbergian redress, as the actor who remains dedicated to righting some of the most violent tragedies in our nation’s history—9/11, the BP oil spill, Mark Wahlberg—will train his keen hindsight on that fateful event.
Deadline reports that CBS Films is fast-tracking Patriots’ Day, a feature that will star Wahlberg as Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, who led the citywide manhunt that eventually led to the arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the death of his brother and accomplice, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The former is still currently on trial for charges of using a weapon of mass destruction, though it is apparently never too soon to face charges of really pissing off Mark Wahlberg.
In fact, Patriots’ Day—which is still being scripted by Matt Charman, who also wrote Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ upcoming Cold War thriller Bridge Of Spies—is just the latest in an unnervingly growing list of Boston Marathon-related projects. The rush to capitalize on the tragedy kicked off within three months of the bombing, when The Fighter’s Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy began developing Boston Strong, a movie that would allow the later generations of July 2013 to experience the ancient history of mid-April. That movie—which lost the Boston-crucial component of an Affleck brother, but gained the men-grimly-clutching-guns component of director Daniel Espinosa—remains a “big priority” at Fox. So much so that Espinosa plans to film runners at this year’s Boston Marathon for it, definitely prioritizing the movie over any discomfiting feelings that might stir.
Last year, Fox also began developing a Boston Marathon television event series, which was soon followed by the loosely Boston Marathon-“inspired” film Altar Rock, then the announcement of Lionsgate’s Stronger, which will tell the tale of survivor Jeff Bauman’s road to recovery after losing both legs in the attack. And one might say that those four projects are already sufficient to tell the story, especially a mere two years after everyone actually lived it. But as we know, history is always much better in the Mark Wahlberg version.