As is the Hollywood way, whenever a story grips the nation, a bunch of different projects launch headfirst into development, hoping to capitalize on the media craze. Such is the case with the Boston Marathon Bombing, which will feature into three or more different movies housed all over town.
One in particular, though, titled Stronger, is taking some big steps forward. David Gordon Green is in negotiations to direct the inspirational drama, and today brings word that Jake Gyllenhaal, still bathing in critical acclaim after his performance as a down-and-out boxer in Southpaw, is looking at taking on the lead role.
Gyllenhaal would play Jeff Bauman, who lost both of his legs in the attack while waiting at the finish line of the annual marathon for his girlfriend to finish competing. Bauman was caught in the blast when two pressure cooker bombs exploded, killing three people and injuring hundreds more. Many, like Bauman, lost limbs in the attack.
Bauman’s book Stronger, co-written with Bret Witter, charted both his long and painful road to recovery and his experience as a key witness in the trial of since-convicted bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
John Pollono adapted the book into a screenplay. David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Scott Silver, the trio behind David O. Russell’s Boston-set The Fighter, are all involved as producers.
It’s exciting to see Gyllenhaal, who has steadily transformed himself into one of the most committed actors in the game right now, take on another intense role – with End of Watch, Prisoners, Enemy, Nightcrawler and now Southpaw under his belt, the actor has been on a dramatic tear of late and shows no signs of slowing down.
Next up for the star: Baltasar Kormákur’s blockbuster adventure-thriller Everest, then Jean Marc-Vallee’s drama Demolition, about a man tearing apart his life in the aftermath of his wife’s death. The actor is also attached to star in Nocturnal Animals for director Tom Ford. If Gyllenhaal adds Stronger to his slate, he’ll be ramping up for one of the most dramatically packed years of any actor in Hollywood.