Ready, set, roll: Boston marathon gets its 1st documentary

BOSTON -- America's marquee marathon is ready for its close-up.

"Boston," the first feature-length documentary film about the Boston Marathon, is in the works.

See Full Article

Its creators say the movie will go well beyond the 2013 bombings to retrace the iconic footrace's first steps in 1897.

"Over the years, the Boston Marathon has had so many extraordinary stories of people achieving and accomplishing things," said producer Megan Williams, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker. "It's like looking at cultural and social change over the last century through the lens of this major sporting event."

Two feature films (one starring Mark Wahlberg), a stage play and an HBO special also are in production, though they're all about the 2013 finish line attacks that killed three spectators and wounded more than 260 others.

No Boston documentary would be complete without the dark events of 2013. "Boston," however, will focus less on the chaos than the comeback. The producers had 56 cameras along the course in 2014 for the marathon's first running since the bombings.

Director Jon Dunham said the city's determination to take back its namesake race will be a recurring theme in the movie, which was conceived before the attacks.

But the film will be a sort of highlights reel from the 120-year-old marathon, the nation's oldest. The Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the race, gave Dunham exclusive rights to its archive of photos, video and marathon memorabilia.

"Boston" will tell the stories of some of the greatest marathoners ever to conquer the hilly 26.2-mile course stretching from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to Boston. They include four-time winner Bill Rodgers; Johnny Kelley, who ran 61 Bostons and won two; and Kathrine Switzer, who in 1967 became the first woman to run with an official bib number.

"It's a huge undertaking. We've got 300 hours of stuff we shot, not counting the archival material," said Dunham, who hopes it will psych up runners like his popular "Spirit of the Marathon" films - cult classics that followed select amateur and elite runners at the 2005 Chicago and 2012 Rome marathons.

Nothing rivals the Boston Marathon in terms of sheer lore, said Tom Derderian, a running coach and author who's serving as an executive producer, along with 2004 Olympic marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor.

"The marathon is a mirror in which you can see the reflections of the times in every year," he said. "For instance, the world of the 1910 Boston was not this world - it featured young men who were considered at great risk of ruining their health by running. That was the essential myth of those times."

Derderian ticks off other examples: wild speculation in the 1920s that fueled rampant betting on the winner, and unemployed men who ran during World War II in hopes the media attention would help them compete for scarce jobs.

"Boston" also will follow more modern heroes, such as 2014 victor Meb Keflezighi, the first American man to win in 31 years.

But the real star is the race itself.

The movie tentatively is set to premiere in April 2017 in conjunction with the 121st edition of the race. John Hancock Financial, the marathon's principal backer, has signed on as the film's title sponsor, though Williams said she's still working to raise half of the project's $2 million budget.

In the meantime, the Boston Symphony Orchestra is recording Emmy-winning composer Jeff Beal's score.

"I'm not a runner and I'm not from Boston," Williams said. "But I hope our film really captures the uniqueness and importance of the Boston Marathon."



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Spice Girls star Geri Horner prayed to God for miracle baby

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Singer Geri Horner fell pregnant two months after praying she would conceive naturally. The former Spice Girls star struggled to conceive for a second time, and now reveals her son was a "gift". "I really wanted to have another baby and I'm older now, and you think, 'Oh, is that possible?'," the 44-year-old tells The Sun. Source
  • George Orwell's son says '1984' was 'prescient'

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The audience at the opening night on Broadway of a new stage adaptation of George Orwell's dystopian fantasy "1984" will include a special guest -- the author's son. Richard Blair, whose father finished the book in 1949 when he was a young boy, was in New York on Thursday to cheer on the cast amid a huge jump in interest of his father's nightmarish vison of the future. Source
  • U2 at Toronto’s Rogers Centre: Four things to expect [Photos]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    U2 is one of rock’s biggest acts. But when they touch down at Rogers Centre Friday night, they’ll do something they haven’t done in 30 years – play their classic Joshua Tree LP from front to back. Source
  • Bill Cosby planning motivational speaking tour

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Bill Cosby is about to embark on a new career. The fallen funnyman - whose sex assault trial recently ended in a mistrial - is poised to launch Cosby 2.0 as a motivational speaker. His target audience will be men “wrongly accused” of raping co-eds and groping groupies. Source
  • Bill Cosby plans sex assault talks, accusers' lawyer cries foul

    Entertainment CBC News
    Bill Cosby plans to conduct a series of free public seminars about sexual assault this summer, his spokesman said days after a Pennsylvania judge declared a mistrial in the entertainer's sexual assault trial. A lawyer for 33 women who have accused former star of the 1980s TV hit The Cosby Show of sexual assault criticized the move as an apparent attempt to interfere with his expected retrial on charges of sexually assaulting Canadian Andrea Constand at his home in the Philadelphia in…
  • Netflix's 'GLOW' gets ready to rumble

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    What’s hotter than wrestling right now? Gorgeous ladies of wrestling, sillies! And that’s what Netflix is banking on when they purchased the new 10-part series dramedy, GLOW, which begins streaming Friday. Produced by Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan, GLOW is somewhat of an accident tale of feminism based on the real-life female syndicated wrestling TV series that aired between 1986 and 1990. Source
  • ‘Wonder Woman 2’, ‘Justice League’, ‘Aquaman’ and the future of the DCEU [Photos]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    It took a woman – Wonder Woman, actually – to do what Batman, Superman and the Joker couldn’t: finally get DC’s Extended Cinematic Universe going in a meaningful way. The Gal Gadot-led superhero film is a critical and box office hit. Source
  • A look at ‘Amazing Race Canada’ Season 5 contestants

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    There’s always a chance a new season of “The Amazing Race Canada” could end in a dead heat. Good thing one of the teams competing this summer are undertakers. Canada’s most-watched homegrown summer series returns for a fifth season on July 4 on CTV. Source
  • We catch up with the groundbreaking GLOW wrestlers from yore

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    While Netflix's GLOW portrays a fictionalized version of the famed `80s all women's wrestling promotion, the actual Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling company spawned a number of successful alumni. Three notable GLOW grapplers include: Tina Ferrari: The spunky grappler -- real name Lisa Moretti -- that appeared in the first two seasons of GLOW gained more success in the late `90s and early 2000s on an international stage in the WWE as Ivory. Source
  • Colbert goes to Russia, vows to search for Comey 'tapes'

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES - Stephen Colbert is on a mission to Russia. CBS said Thursday that the late-night TV host is on assignment there for a future broadcast. On Twitter, Colbert promised to help U.S. Source