Lionsgate Gets Stronger – By A Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor


To people around the world watching events unfold through the 24 hour news cycle, the horrific blasts and incredible hunt for the Boston Marathon Bombers played out like a Hollywood production. Violent car chases, heavy weaponry and heroic, determined law enforcement agencies all combined in a surreal and shocking string of incidents. For those caught up in it, there was no movie magic sheen – but that terrifying reality will soon be hitting our cinema screens with the development of Stronger, by Lionsgate.

As 27 year-old Jeff Bauman waited at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, he was keeping an eye out for his girlfriend, who was running in the event. When a bomb detonated close by, his legs were lost in the explosion. Photographs of him being transported to a waiting ambulance by wheelchair were beamed around the world as Bauman himself was in surgery, fighting for his life. His first action on waking, just days later, was to communicate in writing that he had been face-to-face with one of the bombers – helping with what soon became one of the most dramatic manhunts in American history. In the following months, he continued to write – eventually co-authoring the book, “Stronger”, with Brett Whitter, which was published in April of this year.

The story of surviving the double bombing that killed 3 and injured 260 will be adapted by first-time screenwriter John Pollono. Also on board is the producing team behind The Fighter – Todd Lieberman, David Hoberman and writer Scott Silver. There is no word yet on a director for the project, but with an adapted script now underway, we should expect that announcement soon.

It is, perhaps, part of our healing ritual to process tragedy through artistic endeavour – it seems that most terrible, true occurrences are turned into TV or film at some stage. With Stronger, though, there is something deeply impressive happening. This is not just a story of inspiration and survival, nor simply a record of events. It is all of those things combined, framed by defiance in the face of aggression – and that is what gives this the potential for moving and fascinating cinema.