‘The Fighter’ Screenwriters Bought Rights to a Boston Marathon Movie

Two screenwriters have optioned film rights to an upcoming book on the attack.



You knew it was coming.

Deadline Hollywood reports that screenwriters Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy, who wrote “The Fighter,” have optioned the film rights to an upcoming book on the Boston Marathon bombings and the subsequent manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers. The book,  Boston Strong, is by Casey Sherman and Boston Herald reporter Dave Wedge.

A Boston Marathon film is inevitable for several reasons: First, those events were legitimately cinematic. As pictures circulated of an utterly deserted city, each of us at some point probably said the words, “It’s like something out of a movie.” Hollywood execs can hear you when you say things like that.

Second, Hollywood will make a film set in Boston about literally anything. This writer once sat through a set of previews in a movie theater during which every single film featured was set in the Boston area. (They were “The Social Network,” “Charlie St. Cloud,” and … “The Town,” if memory serves.) The threshold for events in Boston that merit a feature film lies somewhere around “Man robs a bank.” So “national tragedy” clears the bar by a long shot.

As for whether this feels “too soon,” given we’re just months away from an event that has shaken a lot of people, consider that optioning film rights to a book that hasn’t even been published does not a movie make. Even if it gets made, we’re years away from seeing this thing. Variety was reporting as early as March 2002 that several films about the September 11 attacks were being developed. We didn’t actually see Flight 93 until 2006 (though, even then, the previews disturbed a lot of people.) So what we’re saying is … you can promptly forget this news until suddenly you see Jeff Bridges (he’d be playing the Boston Globe’s then-editor Marty Baron, obviously) in an Au Bon Pain in 2015. (Update: Our memory failed us. Baron had already moved on to the Washington Post when the bombs went off, so we’ll go with Dennis Quaid playing Brian McGrory.)