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
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— Boston Strangler Director Matt Ruskin
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 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
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— Keira Knightley on taking the role of Loretta Mclaughlin in Boston Strangler
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.”
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.