Still reeling from the box office failure of his critically derided historical thriller Child 44, director Daniel Espinosa has departed the Boston Marathon bombing drama Boston Strong.
Creative differences were cited as the reason for the split, though no details were available as to what those differences entailed. Espinosa, who broke out with 2010’s Easy Money and went on to helm action hit Safe House, has been going through a rough patch lately; Child 44 was reportedly a monster to tackle in the editing room, and even with extensive post-production work, it became a high-profile disappointment for Lionsgate.
Boston Strong, which The Fighter scribes Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy originally adapted from the book of the same name by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge, focuses on the manhunt for bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the immediate aftermath of a devastating attack during the 2013 Boston Marathon, and how the city would ultimately come together to heal. Joshua Zetumer (RoboCop) worked on the most recent draft.
The project is one of two competing Boston bombing pics – the other, Patriots’ Day, is exclusively centered on the manhunt. Mark Wahlberg is attached to star.
20th Century Fox, along with producers Hutch Parker and Dorothy Aufiero, will now search for another director to take the reins on the priority pic, which is being eyed as a potential awards contender.
Particularly with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial recently concluded (the 21-year-old was sentenced to death by lethal injection after being found guilty of all 30 levied charges), everyone involved with Boston Strong wants to strike while the iron’s hot. No actors are yet attached to star – Casey Affleck was said to be involved, but he later noted that he was not participating – but we’ll keep you posted when we get further updates.