It’s no secret that Casey Affleck hails from a little town in Massachusetts called Boston. Like his brother (Batman), he’s never been one to be quiet about reaping his hometown pride and defending its honor. So it makes perfect sense that Affleck has signed on to produce and star in Boston Strong, a film chronicling the days following the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Boston Strong, based on the book of the same name by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge, will be penned by the writers behind The Fighter, Eric Johnson and Paul Tamsay. Johnson and Tamsay optioned the rights to the story in July 2013 and were undecided on making a film or a television series; in April 2014 there were plans for a miniseries, but that has since fallen through and Boston Strong is back on as a film.
The film centers on the time after the tragedy occurs, when a massive manhunt is underway for the two men suspected of placing bombs along the route and at the finish line of the Boston Marathon – brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Along with the manhunt storyline, the film will look into the reactions of the grieving and panicked city still reeling from the attack.
This is likely where the “Boston Strong” title comes into play; the phrase appeared in the hours after the attack as a Twitter hashtag which spread instantly around the world as a slogan of unity and inspiration. It was printed on clothing, displayed on merchandise, blasted across the internet and even emblazoned on the Green Monster at Fenway Park. So while this is being described first and foremost as a film about finding and apprehending the bombing suspects, it’s clear that this is a film about the unification and endurance of the Boston community in the wake of the tragedy. Isn’t that up Affleck’s alley?
We know how the very recent event played out in real life. Just over a year ago is when the tragedy itself occurred and the manhunt played out; we’re still dealing with the aftermath of the entire ordeal, throughout the nation and especially in Boston itself. But the film is going to be intriguing for those not there, at the epicenter, because while this seems so fresh in everyone’s minds, they didn’t see it happen on their own home turf. Though there aren’t any details yet about Affleck’s role, it’s a perfect fit that he’s in a starring part, and even better that he’s producing, because he’ll have the sensitivity and knowledge to keep perspective. Who better than a hometown boy to make a movie about one of the worst days in its history?