Actor Mark Wahlberg will star in Paramount’s upcoming feature Arthur the King. Based on Mikael Lindnord’s 2016 book Arthur: The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home, the big screen adaptation will detail the travel experiences of a wounded canine.
Now 48 years old, Wahlberg has a feature film resume that dates back 25 years. Early in his career, Wahlberg was known as the younger brother of Donnie Wahlberg, one of New Kids on the Block's original members; and in 1991, he rose to fame as the leader of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. After making his debut in the 1993 Penny Marshall film Renaissance Man, Wahlberg co-starred with Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1995 adaptation The Basketball Diaries. By 1997, Wahlberg delivered a breakout performance as Dirk Diggler in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights and earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination a decade later for The Departed. In the past decade, Wahlberg has collaborated with director Peter Berg for the films Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day, Mile 22, and the upcoming Netflix Original Wonderland.
Per THR, Wahlberg is set for a starring role in Arthur the King, which will follow the true story of the aforementioned Lindnord, a Swedish adventurer who assisted an injured dog during an Ecuadorian endurance race. Arthur the King’s script was written by Michael Brandt, the creator of the NBC series Chicago Fire, and the scribe behind films such as 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Double (also the director), 3:10 to Yuma, and Wanted. Most recently, Wahlberg has teamed up with Paramount for feature films like Transformers: The Last Knight and Instant Family.
Wahlberg will certainly bring plenty of star power to Arthur the King, but he’s also an accomplished producer. From 2004 to 2011, he served as executive producer for HBO’s Entourage, and he held the same position for the HBO series In Treatment, How to Make It in America, Boardwalk Empire, and Ballers. Wahlberg also executive produced the now-canceled USA series Shooter, a television adaption of his 2007 film of the same name. For Arthur the King, the aforementioned Brandt and Lindnord will co-produce with Dorothy Canton (Den of Thieves).
Given Wahlberg’s history of portraying serious and comedic figures, Arthur the King feels like a perfect fit. With the right director, the dog adventure film could became far more than just a heart-warming story about survival. At the very least, it will re-establish Wahlberg as a viable action star for Paramount moving forward.