He may not be taking part in The Crow reboot, but evidently there's another big, black bird in Mark Wahlberg's future. He will produce and possibly star in The Raven - a feature-length adaptation of a six-minute short film released last winter by up-and-coming filmmaker Ricardo De Montreuil.
Not to be confused with James McTeigue's upcoming Edgar Allen Poe project of the same name, Montreuil created his film in the hopes of receiving some attention from Hollywood. It took eight months of negotiating, but now The Hollywood Reporter is confirming the involvement of Wahlberg and his producing partner Steve Levinson.
The Raven is set in a future where Los Angeles has been transformed into a police state and robot drones are hunting Chris Black - a man who possesses telekinetic powers. Screenwriter Justin Marks (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li) will expand the story into a feature. There's no mention of a director yet, but Montreuil recently signed a deal to helm the coming-of-age drama Lowriders for Universal.
If you've never seen it, you can check out The Raven short film by clicking on the picture below:
The film has sort of a Minority Report vibe to it and that last drone will probably invite comparisons to the ED-209 from RoboCop. The driver of the car has some questionable line delivery, but overall this is a pretty slick short film. Montreuil, whose 2008 film Mancora was nominated for the Sundance Film Festival's grand jury prize, is definitely very skilled - but I'm wondering how they're going to flesh out this premise for a feature film.
It's possible there was some consideration given to the larger story before the short was made, but at the moment it seems strangely devoid of that precious "high concept" Hollywood loves so much.
If Wahlberg does decide to star in the film, I hope he fares better than he has in previous genre efforts. Movies like The Fighter solidify the fact that he's an extremely capable actor, but the majority of his work as an action star has left much to be desired.
We'll keep you updated on The Raven as it progresses.