I guess we should have known this was coming. A movie based on the Boston Marathon bombing is already in the works. Two of the screenwriters who wrote the 2010 Oscar-nominated film The Fighter, Eric Johnson and Paul Tamsay, will adapt the upcoming book, Boston Strong, for a film. Suspected bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged by a grand jury less than two weeks ago. The bombings happened just a few short months ago. But someone has already bought the rights to make a movie.
Does that make anyone else squirm? And yet ... I get it. I can see how this story would be irresistible to Hollywood. I'm sure there was a mad scramble for those rights.
The book will focus on Boston's reaction to the bombings and the manhunt that followed. Remember that? I don't know about you, but I was riveted through that hunt. Like everyone else, I wanted the perpetrators to be stopped before they could do any more harm and so they could be brought to justice. But as much as I hate admitting it, the hunt gave me a vicarious thrill. I can't pretend to be so high-minded that all I could think about was safety and justice. I was also caught up in the drama.
And Hollywood knows this. I'm not at all surprised that people are already planning a movie -- if anything, I can't believe it hadn't happened before now. But how do we feel about this?
I'm sure the film will glorify all the heroes of Boston who rescued victims and who joined the hunt for the Tsarnaev brothers. But just like every thriller in some way glamorizes its villains, this film will glamorize the atrocious actions of the bombers. They will clearly be the bad guys of the film. But still. The havoc they wreaked will be splayed all over the big screen. We'll see those explosions and screams over and over again in ads and trailers.
Do we really want to see that -- again? I'm not so sure I like the idea of a horrific tragedy being turned into a form of entertainment, not this soon, anyway. Would it be "just" entertainment, or would it also be part of the conversation, a way to process what happened? Is that possible? I don't know -- I guess it would depend on how the film was made. But it's not like it's going to be a documentary. I kind of think it's probably going to be more of an action flick than anything else.
Would you see a movie based on the Boston Marathon bombings?
Image via Rebecca Hildreth/Flickr