Boston Strangler Director Inspired by Loretta McLaughlin

‘Boston Strangler’ director discusses his inspiration in an exclusive interview with Editor-in-Chief TJ Zwarych.

In the 1960s, terror swept through Boston as an assailant murdered 13 women. Decades later, the upcoming Hulu and Disney+ feature Boston Strangler aims not to emphasize the murderer himself. However, this film puts the focus on the incredible women breaking the story. Boston Strangler director Matt Ruskin discussed in the press conference for the film his inspiration to tell this particular story.

Boston Strangler director eager to learn

Boston Strangler Director Matt Ruskin inspired by Jean Cole and Loretta McLaughlin, played by Carrie Coon and Keira Knightley | Agents of Fandom
Jean Cole and Loretta McLaughlin, played by Carrie Coon and Keira Knightley in Boston Strangler. Image Credit: Disney.

Keira Knightley stars as Loretta McLaughlin in the film. Loretta is the reporter who breaks the news of the murders to all of Boston. Additionally, Carrie Coon shines alongside Knightley as Jean Cole, a grizzled veteran of the industry. Their dynamic was crucial to solving the crime and plays a large part in the film as well.

Boston Strangler director Matt Ruskin grew up in Boston without knowing much about the murders. Thankfully, the details behind Loretta and Jean’s story inspired him to create the film.

“I started reading all that I could and discovered this incredibly layered murder mystery that was full of twists and turns. And, in many ways, was as much a story about the city at the time. And
so throughout, I was just completely gripped by the case. Finally when I discovered these reporters, Loretta McLaughlin and Jean
Cole, I found out that they were one of the first reporters
to connect the murders.”

Boston Strangler Director Matt Ruskin

Boston Strangler director Matt Ruskin learned that McLaughlin and Cole were the ones who named the assailant, and immediately knew he needed to learn more. However, their journalism couldn’t come back to life without the incredible actors playing the roles. Additionally, there needed to be a perspective shift from traditional true crime storytelling. This story is about journalists and their drive to find the truth.

Changing the Perspective

Keira Knightley in 'Boston Strangler' Directed by Matt Ruskin | Agents of Fandom
Keira Knightley in Boston Strangler, streaming March 17 on Hulu and Disney+ internationally. Image Credit: Disney.

People love horror and suspense. They always have. It’s no secret that serial killer biopics are streaming in abundance right now, too. Furthermore, with so many films and television series glorifying the killers themselves, Boston Strangler director Matt Ruskin aimed to create something different. Additionally, this is also what drew Keira Knightley to the role of Loretta Mclaughlin too. Knightley is no stranger to playing the role of a strong, powerful woman and this was the case once again in Boston Strangler. It was important for her to help tell that story.

“I just thought it was a really interesting way
of telling the story of a serial killer but through the
point-of-view of these two female journalists. Additionally, the
fact that you’ve kinda got a case where most people didn’t
know that it was two women who broke the story, that
they’ve largely sort of been erased from the history of
this case, and I thought was really interesting.”

— Keira Knightley on taking the role of Loretta Mclaughlin in Boston Strangler

The Boston Strangler terrorized women throughout the 1960s. However, that’s not all there is to the story. Loretta McLaughlin and Jean Cole were crucial in finding the truth. Additionally, their efforts likely saved many women throughout the city. Boston Strangler director Matt Ruskin and the amazing cast of the film helped ensure their stories were told.

Stay tuned to the Agents of Fandom socials for the latest on Boston Strangler. You can also find the latest on TV, Film, Gaming, and more on the Agents of Fandom podcast network.

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