Mark Wahlberg has been keeping busy since The Fighter became a critical and financial hit this past winter. He’s starring in Seth MacFarlane’s directorial debut, Ted, and intends to re-collaborate with David O. Russell on several projects, including Uncharted and Cocaine Cowboys. It turns out that the Oscar-nominee has another, unexpected collaboration in mind as well.
Wahlberg let it slip that he and Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber are putting together a film over at Paramount – one that will apparently be serious in tone and won’t involve any sort of dancing or singing.
Vulture has the scoop on this news, and Wahlberg provided them with the following bit of information:
“[The film will be] more of a drama. It’s interesting, right? You want to know. They’ll probably announce it. They may announce it fairly soon … [I play] kind of like a reluctant mentor [to Bieber’s character] in an inner-city environment. You know, I don’t want to say.”
Deadline has some additional details about the project, which will reportedly revolve around street basketball. The tone of film “is described as [Martin Scorsese’s] ‘The Color of Money’ meets ‘The Karate Kid’,” so… it’ll be part underdog sports drama, part teacher-student character study, then? Moving on…
Bieber’s curious rise to fame was (sort of) chronicled earlier this year in the musical documentary Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. Wahlberg has long been quite open about his admiration for the 17-year-old singer/songwriter, calling him “quite talented” and claiming “The world needs Justin Bieber. Justin Bieber is like the white Tupac. Compared to a lot of people.”
Passing over Wahlberg’s thoughts about Bieber (it’s for the best), there is the inevitable question: Will Bieber’s fifteen minutes of fame include more than just his time as a teen pop music star? The obvious answer is “no,” of course, but then again – who would’ve thought that the leader of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch would go on to have a legitimate acting career and become a highly-respected player in Hollywood?
That’s not to say that Bieber is at all in a position to become… er, the next Mark Wahlberg, so to speak, but it does raise the question: could this kid have staying power? I personally don’t feel any particular fondness for his music, but I also know I’m not a member of his target demographic. He’s a pop star who is more than ripe for mocking, no doubt, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with the fact that Bieber has found success – and if we’re being honest, the kid does actually have some talent.
Bieber isn’t even a legal adult yet, so who knows – maybe as he grows up he’ll mature into a formidable leading man of the screen. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a real long shot right now, but crazier things happen all the time, right? Right?
What do you think of Mark Wahlberg and Justin Bieber joining forces together onscreen?