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

  • Wonder Woman 2 confirmed at San Diego's Comic-Con

    Entertainment CBC News
    After smashing box office records this year, Wonder Woman received the loudest cheers among the DC superheroes gathered on Saturday at San Diego's annual Comic-Con to present new footage and trailers for Warner Bros' expanding comic book film franchise. Source
  • Ben Affleck addresses rumours that he's out as Batman

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN DIEGO - Ben Affleck says he is still Batman and has the support of Warner Bros for the stand-alone film. Affleck addressed rumours that he would not be appearing as the caped crusader past "Justice League" this November Saturday at Comic-Con in San Diego. Source
  • Ben Affleck to fans: I'm still Batman, despite rumours

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN DIEGO -- Ben Affleck is still Batman. The actor shot down rumours that he would be hanging up his cape for the stand-alone Batman film, even though he recently ceded directing responsibilities. Speaking to a crowd of about 6,500 fans at San Diego Comic-Con, Affleck unequivocally assured the crowd that he is still starring in "The Batman. Source
  • Spielberg debuts action-packed 'Ready Player One' footage

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN DIEGO - Steven Spielberg dives into the world of virtual reality in his adaptation of "Ready Player One." The director unveiled action- and nostalgia-packed footage from the film Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con. The 6,500-person Hall H crowd gave the director a standing ovation and cheered heartily when the first images from the dystopian future world came up on screen, and even more so when The Iron Giant popped up. Source
  • Ben Affleck refutes rumours that he's out as Batman

    Entertainment CBC News
    Ben Affleck says he is still Batman and has the support of Warner Bros. for the stand-alone film. Affleck addressed rumours at Comic-Con in San Diego, Calif. Saturday that he would not be appearing as the caped crusader past Justice League this November. Source
  • 'Home Alone' dad John Heard dead at 71

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Home Alone star John Heard has died at the age of 72. Police were called to a Palo Alto, California hotel on Friday to investigate a report of a medical emergency, but the actor was pronounced dead at the scene, according to TMZ.com. Source
  • 'It'll say things about today': Denis Villeneuve teases Blade Runner 2049

    Entertainment CBC News
    Canadian director Denis Villeneuve had fended off numerous requests to direct big-budget sequels until he was approached to make a follow-up to Ridley Scott's 1982 neo-noir sci-fi film Blade Runner. "I accepted to do Blade Runner because it was meaningful," Villeneuve, the director of last year's cerebral alien sci-fi film Arrival, told Reuters Saturday in San Diego, Calif. Source
  • 90 hospitalized during Chance the Rapper show in Connecticut

    Entertainment CBC News
    Police in Connecticut say more than 90 people were hospitalized during a concert featuring Chance the Rapper. Authorities say many were taken to hospitals for excessive drinking. Hartford Deputy Chief Brian Foley said Saturday that officers made 50 underage drinking referrals Friday at Hot 93.7's Hot Jam concert at Xfinity Theatre. Source
  • Singer Scotty McCreery cited for loaded gun at airport

    Entertainment CBC News
    Country singer Scotty McCreery has been cited after authorities say he had a loaded handgun with him in Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Authorities told local media organizations that they found a loaded 9 millimetre handgun in McCreery's backpack at a security checkpoint on July 13. Source
  • Beyoncé wax figure touched up after complaints about inaccurate skin colour

    Entertainment CBC News
    A wax figure of Beyoncé at Madame Tussauds in New York has been given a makeover after fans of the megastar said the figure looked too white. The wax Beyoncé sported wavy blond hair and appeared to be thinner and lighter-skinned than the Lemonade singer in real life. Source