J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

“Hardcore guys—90% of them emanate from a one-square-mile neighborhood called Charlestown”

This week Deadline.com broke the news that Warner Bros. paid a fairly hefty sum for a movie option on Nathaniel Philbrick’s upcoming book, Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution.

The article said:

The project was acquired for Pearl Street Films as a potential directing vehicle for Argo helmer Ben Affleck, who partners in the company with Matt Damon. Word is that Affleck (who is busy adapting the Dennis Lehane novel Live By Night to direct, star in and produce) will turn the book over to his Argo scribe Chris Terrio, making this a major project.
But not Affleck’s next project, and of course there’s a possibility that it might never be filmed. But if Affleck wanted to combine his fondness for Boston with what he learned from Argo about staging historical fiction, Bunker Hill offers a terrific combo.

Back in 2007 I was part of a discussion of the movie potential for that battle and offered this scene of Abijah Willard recognizing hardcore guy William Prescott on the provincial redoubt.

In The Whites of Their Eyes, Paul Lockhart was skeptical that ever happened. I’m pleased to say that Philbrick’s Bunker Hill makes the case that it was possible. But just because we can’t rule out the story doesn’t mean it really happened.

I’m still not totally convinced about the details, given the multiple versions of the tale that have come down to us. The tale must have been juiced for drama before it was first written down. But it’s documented enough for Hollywood.

1 comment:

Joanq said...

I would love to see this made into a movie. I have often wondered why it hasn't been already.