During CBS Films’ presentation at Deadline’s The Contenders today, audience members were given an exclusive look at the chilling and emotive new trailer for Patriots Day. Star Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg were on hand at the DGA for a panel discussion about the Boston Marathon bombing movie.
The film hit particularly close to home for Boston native Wahlberg, who felt the greatest burden to get it right. “Obviously there’s a huge amount of responsibility,” he told Deadline’s Dominic Patten. “That’s my home. I pride myself in being able to go back there and hold my head high. If we don’t get it right, they’ll certainly hold me accountable.”
The film marks the third collaboration with Wahlberg and Berg. “I knew that Pete was the right guy for the movie and telling the story, and I wanted to introduce him to my home and meet these amazing people,” Wahlberg said. “It’s such a small community; everybody knew somebody who was directly effected by this.”
Said Berg of making the film: “This was the most intensive experience of my life. Mark is taking me into this community, which is still very raw in many ways — we are as a country still raw — from these continual acts of violence. For Mark to take me and our team in there and to put his reputation as a son of Boston on the line … took a lot of guts.”
The film focuses on the 2013 bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the five-day manhunt that followed and the resilience the city showed in dealing with a diabolical terror attack.
“It’s extremely emotional and a bit nerve-racking … when you go to try to explain to someone who lost a loved one that you want to tell this story. It’s not an easy thing to do,” said Wahlberg. “For a while we debated back and forth that it was too soon, but then we realized with all the stuff that’s going on in this world — you look at Orlando and Paris — it’s really not soon enough, because this is a message about love and hope and people coming together. … I think the entire world is going to relate.”
Patriots Day will be platformed in Boston, New York and Los Angeles December 21 and opens wide January 13 via CBS Films and Lionsgate.
Also part of the CBS Films presentation was its crime thriller Hell or High Water, and stars Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster took part in the panel discussion with Patten along with director David Mackenzie. It follows two brothers (Pine and Foster) who are rob branches of a West Texas bank that wants to foreclose on their mother’s property. Bridges plays a Texas Ranger who catches wind of the heists and pursues the brothers across the plains.
On the film’s premise and its relevance to today’s society, Foster said: “There’s a lot of suffering out there, and the next few days are going to indicate the future of that. To keep it out of the political swamp that we’re all sitting in with bated breath, I’d like to celebrate Taylor [Sheridan] and David’s ability to touch on things that are touching all of us in the country. It ain’t going away soon. What’s most interesting is it’s presented emotionally about love and how do we love the ones we love and how do we take care of the people that are closest to us when and what would you do or the person you love the dearest. That’s where the lines get blurred in terms of ethics.”
The film bowed August 12 in limited release and posted the best per-theater average among the weekend’s specialty newcomers at $18K. It went wide August 26.