On Friday, CBS Films released Extraordinary Measures to theaters, a film that chronicles a father’s journey to find a cure for his children’s debilitating illness. The movie costars Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser. As first reported in the Boston Herald,
“the film is based on a true story that has its roots in Boston, but the city and Genzyme Corp., the company that found a treatment for Pompe disease, aren’t in the film.”
The disease, which is also known as glycogen storage disease type II, seriously hampers the body’s ability to break down stored sugar, when progressed, can leave its victims unable to eat, walk, or breathe on their own. Cambridge based scientists at Genzyme Corp. that worked on trying to find a cure for this horrifying condition are excited by the notion that this story is coming to the big screen.
“I hope it increases awareness not only of these diseases and gives more hope to people with other rare diseases.” Dr. Robert Mattaliano, a vice president at Genzyme told the Boston Herald.
Brendan Fraser’s character was based on the real-life John Crowley, a Harvard Business School graduate who quit his job to launch a biotechnology company in Oklahoma when he learned his young son and daughter have the disease. Years later, a drug treatment was successfully brought to the market, and the Harvard Business School and a Wall Street Journal reporter both published works chronicling Crowley’s inspiring journey. Crowley’s own memoir will be on bookstore shelves soon.
Despite Extraordinary Measures not being filmed in Beantown, star Brendan Fraser is not unfamiliar with making movies in the Boston-area. This past summer, he spent much of his time in the Bay State filming Furry Vengeance, costarring Brooke Shields, and is set to be released in April.