PATRIOTS DAY is the powerful story of a community’s courage in the face of terror, an account of the Boston Marathon bombing. In the aftermath of an unspeakable act of terror, Police Sergeant TOMMY SAUNDERS (Mark Wahlberg) joins courageous survivors, first responders and investigators in a race against the clock to hunt down the bombers before they strike again. Weaving together the stories of Special Agent RICHARD DESLAURIERS (Kevin Bacon), Police Commissioner ED DAVIS (John Goodman), Sergeant JEFFREY PUGLIESE (J.K. Simmons) and nurse CAROL SAUNDERS (Michelle Monaghan) this visceral and unflinching chronicle captures the suspense of one of the most sophisticated manhunts in law enforcement history and the strength of the people of Boston.
GENRE: Dramatic Thriller
PRODUCTION COMPANIES: CBS Films/Lionsgate
THEATRICAL RELEASE: December 21, 2016 – New York, Los Angeles, Boston
MORE ABOUT THE MOVIE…
The film was one of what had originally been three proposed about the bombings, the other two being Boston Strong (based on the book of the same title) to be directed by Daniel Espinosa and star Casey Affleck, and Stronger about bombing victim Jeff Bauman starring Jake Gyllenhaal. It was to depict Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis’ experiences during the manhunt. CBS Films purchased the rights to Boston Strong and merged it into the existing script.
On March 31, 2015, CBS Films announced it was producing the film Patriots’ Day, about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and manhunt. The film’s script was written by Matt Charman, which focused on Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis. The film is also based on the book Boston Strong and material from 60 Minutes. Mark Wahlberg plays police officer, Sgt. Tommy Saunders, and is producing the film along with Scott Stuber, Dylan Clark, Stephen Levinson, Michael Radutzky, Hutch Parker and Dorothy Aufiero. By February 2016, the title had dropped the apostrophe to become Patriots Day. Also by then, J. K. Simmons had joined the cast as Watertown PD Sgt. Jeffrey Puglies.
CBS Films and Lionsgate would co-finance the film, with Lionsgate also handling its distribution. On March 11, 2016, John Goodman signed on to play former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. On March 8, 2016, Jimmy O. Yang had joined the film’s cast to play Dun Meng, who was carjacked by the Tsarnaev brothers. Same day, Vincent Curatola was cast in the film to play the mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, who was in office for his fifth term when the bombings took place. On March 25, 2016, James Colby joined the film to play William B. Evans, a Boston PD superintendent, and following him, Michelle Monaghan also joined the film to play Carol Saunders, Tommy’s wife. On March 31, Kevin Bacon joined the cast as FBI agent Rick Deslauriers. On April 4, 2016, Alex Wolff and Themo Melikidze were cast in the film as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, responsible for the bombing and later manhunt, and following them Michael Beach also joined the film to play the Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick.
On April 6, 2016, Rachel Brosnahan and Christopher O’Shea joined the film to play the newlyweds Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, who were at the finish line, and both seriously injured but survived. The following day, Lana Condor was cast in the role of Sean Collier’s girlfriend. On May 5, 2016, Melissa Benoist was cast in the film to play Katherine Russell, the widow of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, with Khandi Alexander to play a law enforcement interrogator, Jake Picking to play the MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, who was killed three days after the bombing, and James Dumont to play a government official. Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz appears as himself.
Principal photography on the film began on March 29, 2016, in Quincy and Boston, with production offices and a soundstage set up in one of the Centennial Park warehouses in Peabody, Massachusetts. Filming was previously scheduled to take place on Laurel Street in Watertown to recreate the shootout that took place between police and the Tsarnaev brothers on actual location, but after objections by residents, town officials denied permission for the film to be shot there. The film crew then approached University of Massachusetts Dartmouth officials for permission to shoot some scenes at the campus, which was also denied by the chancellor Gerry Kavanaugh.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the Tsarnaev brothers killed MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, had granted the film production to shoot “entirely peaceful scenes” on the campus for three days in June, as well as at Collier’s actual house. The marathon finish line on Boylston Street was duplicated at Naval Air Station South Weymouth in addition to scenes filmed at the real finish line on the day of the 2016 marathon. Dzhokhar’s capture was filmed in Framingham, Massachusetts on its third anniversary. Additional filming was conducted at Doyle’s Cafe in Jamaica Plain on April 14, 2016, and at Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts on May 18, 2016.
Academy Award-winning composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were hired to write the musical score for the film.
Patriots Day premiered on the closing night of the AFI Fest on November 17, 2016. It will be released in limited theaters in Los Angeles, Boston and New York City on December 21, 2016, with a wide release following in the United States on January 13, 2017.