The film premieres on April 15 in Boston, two days before the annual marathon commences. “Boston” will then receive a one-night theatrical premiere on April 19 through Fathom Events.
“Matt is the ideal narrator for this outstanding documentary about the Boston Marathon,” said executive producer Frank Marshall, who ran the race in 1980. “We are delighted to have him join the production.”
The documentary from LA Roma Films and The Kennedy/Marshall Company chronicles the history of the Boston Marathon, from its origins in 1897 through 2014 — the year after the 2013 terrorist bombing that killed three people and injured several hundred near the finish line.
Damon received a best picture Academy Award nomination this year for producing the Boston-centric drama “Manchester by the Sea.” He also wrote the introduction to John Hanc’s book “The B.A.A. at 125: The Official History of the Boston Athletic Association, 1887-2012.”
“Some of my most vivid childhood sports memories took form … by the side of the road near the fire station on Commonwealth Avenue in Newton … as enervated runners from around the world confront the historic Heartbreak Hill(s),” Damon wrote. “I’ll never forget standing there in the crowd with my brother, Kyle, as we looked first for Bill Rodgers, and then, in the very same race as some of the most talented runners on earth, our smiling (and grimacing) 40-year-old dad.”
The movie is directed by filmmaker-marathoner Jon Dunham, known for his “Spirit of the Marathon” documentaries, produced by Megan Williams, and executive produced by Marshall. It’s a presentation of John Hancock Financial in association with The Kennedy/Marshall Company.
The filmmakers spent the last three years recording interviews with champions and amateur runners from around the world, as well as the stories of members of the Boston Marathon communities. The project was granted exclusive documentary rights from the Boston Athletic Association to produce the film and to use the Association’s extensive archive of video, photos, and memorabilia.
The race is the oldest organized marathon in the world. Lionsgate and CBS Films’ “Patriots Day,” starring Mark Wahlberg, focused on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and has grossed $41 million worldwide. David Gordon Green’s biopic “Stronger,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman, opens this year.