Patriots Day has snagged the closing-night slot at AFI Fest 2016 presented by Audi, the institute announced this past week.
Directed and written by Peter Berg, – who recently directed another real-life American tragedy in the film Deepwater Horizon – the film focuses on the aftermath of the horrific Boston Marathon bombings and stars Mark Wahlberg, J.K. Simmons, John Goodman, Michelle Monaghan, and Kevin Bacon.
Wahlberg, a Boston-native, was originally against making the movie and initially turned down the role. However, upon reading the script and realizing what importance the story held, he accepted the role. The movie is the result of combining three different scripts that were in development about the Boston bombings, but decided to join forces to create an overview of the events.
Given that the closing-night slot at the AFI Fest has launched films such as The Big Short to Oscar campaigns, this position in the festival could make Patriots Day an unexpected Oscar contender. The film recently had a Las Vegas screening that garnered strong feedback.
Patriots Day will be screened at the AFI Fest on November 17th at the TCL Chinese Theatre, and is set to be released on December 21st in limited release in Boston, New York and Los Angeles. The film will open wide on January 13, 2017. CBS Films and Lionsgate recently released a teaser trailer, which can be seen below.