Bos­ton Marathon bomb­ing sur­vivors brace for movies on hor­ror at­tack

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE - DENISE LAVOIE

BOS­TON: Less than three years af­ter bombs killed three peo­ple and wounded more than 260 oth­ers at the Bos­ton Marathon, two movies, a play and an HBO doc­u­men­tary are in the works, caus­ing de­cid­edly mixed feel­ings among some of those most touched by the tragedy.

News that Bos­ton na­tive Mark Wahlberg planned to star in Pa­tri­ots Day sur­faced ear­lier this year dur­ing the trial of Dzhokhar Tsar­naev, who was con­victed and sen­tenced to death for his role in the at­tack.

Re­cently, Wahlberg and CBS Films – the pro­duc­ers of Pa­tri­ots Day – pur­chased the rights to Bos­ton Strong, a book by for­mer Bos­ton Her­ald re­porter Dave Wedge and au­thor Casey Sher­man from 20th Cen­tury Fox.

Wahlberg is ex­pected to play Bos­ton po­lice De­tec­tive Danny Keeler in the movie.

A sec­ond movie will be based on Stronger, a book writ­ten by bomb­ing sur­vivor Jeff Bau­man, who lost both legs in the 2013 bomb­ing. The lead role re­port­edly will be played by ac­tor Jake Gyl­len­haal.

An HBO doc­u­men­tary also is in the works, as well as Fin­ish Line, a play by the Bos­ton The­atre Com­pany set to pre­miere on April 1.

Some sur­vivors do not like the thought of Hol­ly­wood telling the story of that aw­ful day and its af­ter­math.

“The Richards would pre­fer that no movies be made about the bomb­ings at the Bos­ton Marathon,” said Nancy Ster­ling, a spokes­woman for the fam­ily of eight-year-old Martin Richard, the youngest of the three peo­ple killed in the at­tack.

Ster­ling said that if pro­duc­tion does go for­ward on the films, the Richards “hope that the var­i­ous groups will work with them to en­sure that cov­er­age of their fam­ily is min­i­mal and ac­cu­rate.” But oth­ers feel dif­fer­ently about the films. Karen Bras­sard, a New Hamp­shire woman who suf­fered shrap­nel wounds to her legs, said she does not ob­ject to movies be­ing made about the bomb­ings.

“The Mark Wahlberg story had been out there even be­fore the end of the trial, and I know a lot of peo­ple were dis­turbed by that, but I don’t have a prob­lem with it,” said Bras­sard, whose hus­band and daugh­ter also

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were hurt in the bomb­ings.

“It’s a part of history,” she said. “There were movies about the 9/11 sur­vivors and the he­roes of 9/11, and I found those all to be in­ter­est­ing.”

Jar­rod Clow­ery, a car­pen­ter from the Bos­ton sub­ur­ban of Stone­ham who suf­fered sec­ond-de­gree burns and shrap­nel in­juries, said he is re­serv­ing judg­ment un­til he sees the movies. He said he hopes the films will cap­ture how the Bos­ton com­mu­nity and peo­ple around the world sup­ported the in­jured af­ter the bomb­ings.

“If they make a movie just to put more fear into the pub­lic, then that’s not a good thing,” Clow­ery said.

“Hope­fully, they can show some of the good things that have hap­pened since then in­stead of just the hor­ri­ble in­juries,” he said.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear when the movies will be re­leased.

Wahlberg’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment. Bau­man could not be reached for com­ment on the movie based on his book.

Both Clow­ery and Bras­sard said they are hope­ful that Wahlberg will be sen­si­tive be­cause of his Bos­ton roots and will pro­duce a non-fic­tion­alised movie. “I think he’ll be true to the story,” Bras­sard said. “It doesn’t need to be a story that’s sen­sa­tion­alised. It was sen­sa­tional enough. It was graphic enough, so I don’t think it’s some­thing he’s go­ing to have to take a lot of po­etic li­cence with,” she said. – ANA-AP

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