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Boston bombing movie to film at old naval base

Mark Wahlberg’s upcoming movie Patriots Day will recreate the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon at a former naval air station just outside Boston.

Wahlberg is reuniting with filmmaker Peter Berg (pictured) on the new movie, which will tell the story of the manhunt for suspects Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar following the city centre explosions that killed three and injured around 270 others.

South Weymouth Naval Air Station was vacated by the Navy nearly 20 years ago and offers large hangar facilities of around 30,000 sq ft. Columbia Pictures built a 35,000 sq ft set of New York’s iconic Times Square on the base’s runway last year for the new Ghostbusters movie.

The Boston Marathon set being built for Patriots Day may also appear in the upcoming movie Stronger, a separate Jake Gyllenhaal project that focuses on the aftermath of the bombing from the perspective of one of the injured survivors.

Massachusetts does in fact offer New England Studios as a purpose-built filming facility, but it’s smaller than what’s on offer at South Weymouth and has struggled to attract large-scale film productions.     

The state offers a 25% tax credit as a filming incentive, although similar to many parts of the US there is mounting political pressure to direct the funds elsewhere in the economy.  

For more on filming in Massachusetts see our production guide.