Former Franklin resident co-writes acclaimed movie

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 14, 2008

FRANKLIN-A newly released motion picture has a Franklin connection.

Los Angeles author Mark Richard, who spent much of his childhood in Franklin and whose mother still lives here, co-wrote &uot;Stop-Loss,&uot; the story of an Iraq War veteran’s readjustment to civilian life and his resistence to a second tour of duty.

The movie, playing in cinemas throughout Hampton Roads, has gotten favorable reviews. Rolling Stone magazine calls it the &uot;first major movie of the new year that touches greatness&uot; – and gives the film 3 1/2 stars out of a possible four. Distributed by Paramount Pictures, &uot;Stop-Loss&uot; ranked eighth in box-office sales for the weekend of March 28-30, grossing $4.5 million.

Richard, a Lake Charles, La., native, lived in Franklin as a teenager. His mother, Clara, is a Hunterdale Road resident.

Before his recent foray into screenwriting, Richard has been an acclaimed journalist and fiction writer, perhaps best known for his novel, &uot;Fishboy.&uot; Two short-story collections – &uot;The Ice at the Bottom of the World&uot; and &uot;Charity&uot; – have earned critics’ praise. He is the recipient of the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Whiting Foundation Writer’s Award, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, the Mary Francis Hobson Medal for Arts and Letters, and a National Magazine Award for Fiction.

Richard lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jennifer Allen, and their three sons.

Richard’s co-writer on &uot;Stop-Loss&uot; is Kimberly Peirce, who also is the film’s director and producer. Peirce directed and co-wrote the acclaimed 1999 film &uot;Boys Don’t Cry.&uot;

&uot;Stop-Loss&uot; is playing at the following theaters in Hampton Roads: Harbour View Grande on Harbour View Boulevard in Suffolk; MacArthur Center Mall in downtown Norfolk; Greenbrier Mall in Chesapeake; Columbus Stadium 12 at Virginia Beach Boulevard and Constitution Drive; and Main Gate 10 at Norfolk Naval Base.