A Boston-based website snagged a few quotes from Mark Wahlberg and writer William Monahan that suggest a sequel to The Departed is already in development.

The production was rumored to begin filming back in 2008, but faced constant delays and was eventually forgotten. Many will wonder the direction of the sequel, considering most of the cast was killed in the 2007 Best Picture winner.

However, according to Beantown the sequel will make its projected 2012 release date. While the evidence is legitimate, we remain cautiously optimistic.

Back in 2007, writer William Monahan discussed the potential direction for the sequel to The Departed, which was based on the Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs.

“I read the prequel and sequel to ‘Infernal Affairs’ for the first time a couple of weeks ago and there wasn’t anything I could use in Boston situation. When I say that I couldn’t use ‘Infernal Affairs 2 and 3′ I’m not criticizing either film, I’m saying that ‘The Departed’ now points in its own direction. I know how the picture would open. With The Departed Tango and snow falling on the Boston Commons. I know every scene in the picture.”

Monahan’s confidence in the story is a good starting point for a sequel. But the key to its success may rely heavily on the return of key actors left alive after the conclusion of The Departed.

Mark Wahlberg, who you’ll be seeing soon in The Other Guys, played Staff Sgt. Dignam in the first Departed film, and has long been considered the main character for a sequel. When asked about a potential reprisal, he was refreshingly up-front about it:

“They told me they wanted to try to do it and I said, ‘Well, I enjoyed playing the character.’ I mean, this guy [Dignam] doesn’t give a s**t about anything. He doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He just does what he does, he does it the way he wants to do it. And I love that. I don’t think that people who are borderline sane have to be bad. It was just the way I was acting throughout the movie, and then you realize that he’s one of the only stand-up guys. He avenges the death of someone he doesn’t even like just because it’s the right thing to do. There’s a dignity to him.”

Wahlberg’s affinity for the character will go a long way in keeping him on board for the lead role. But there were still a few major players when the credits rolled – including Alec Baldwin’s Capt. Ellerby.

According to Walhberg, Robert De Niro has been asked to portray a corrupt State House politician. This would play nicely with the enigmatic gold dome featured in The Departed – the Massachusetts State House, giving Matt Damon’s long stares in the original some added meaning.

One key component to the success or failure of a Departed sequel is the involvement of director Martin Scorsese. Beantown also claims, “Scorsese has signed off on the untitled sequel,” but I remain skeptical of his role. The legendary director has never made a sequel of any of his films.

Take it all in and believe what you want, but the quotes speak for themselves. It is clear Wahlberg and Monahan are keen on a sequel, but it takes more than two for a successful follow-up to the Academy Award-winning movie.

How do you feel about a sequel to The Departed? Do you believe the rumors or is it just talk? Discuss the possibilities in the comments section below.

Source: Beantown (registration required) via Before The Trailer