It’s looking like a good year to be Boston in the movies. With The Departed‘s Oscar buzz sweeping up into registers that only dogs can hear and a directorial debut from Affleck that had promising reports from set, other production companies are eyeing the city’s history, unique locations and penchant for turning out working class heroes and lowlifes.
Paramount may be next in line with The Fighter, in which the studio would like to reunite Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon as real-life brothers "Irish" Mickey and Dickey Ward. The Ward brothers hail from Lowell, MA, a brutishly attractive indistrial city known as the birthplace of Jack Kerouac and (for a few decades) as a great place to get knifed.
"Irish" Mickey Ward is famous as a pretty phenomenal boxer who ran the amateur circuit, retired, then came back in the mid ’90s to win an improbable string of memorable fights. The script, currently being rewritten by Paul Attansio, focuses on Mickey’s rise and relationship with his trainer/brother Dickey, a fellow boxer with the sort of shady blue collar/criminal past that currently puts studio execs in danger of priapism.
And even if this is simple bandwagoneering — judging by Variety’s note that the rewrite emphasizes "themes of brotherhood and redemption" I’m willing to lay odds with any East Broadway St bookie — I’m happy to see Boston getting a little more business and a shot at slight filmic respectability.