Friday, November 23, 2012

Mark Wahlberg to work on new TV show "The Happy Tree"

FOX is developing a new show called "The Happy Tree", which is about the marijuana legalization movement. The executive producers include Mark Wahlberg and other former Entourage producers Rob Weiss and Steve Levinson. According to, the show "centers on a brilliant young corporate attorney who, after a nervous breakdown, quits his job and seeks a life of peace and serenity on Venice Beach only to find himself the unlikely voice for the marijuana “legalize it” movement."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mark Wahlberg talks to The Boston Globe

Mark Wahlberg recently talked with The Boston Globe about some his latest projects. Here is the article.

Mark Wahlberg gets into the docu-series biz

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein | GLOBE STAFF NOVEMBER 19, 2012

Last week’s announcement that Mark Wahlberg is pitching a pilot inspired by the entertaining if shrill sisters from “The Fighter” got us thinking. Why is a millionaire movie star getting mixed up with reality television?

“I’ve always been as focused on being a businessman as I have been on being an actor,” Wahlberg (inset) told us, reached while riding a horse on a movie set in New Mexico. “I’m not the kind of actor who likes to look at himself in the mirror. I enjoy producing because it gives me creative control.

“If a movie or TV show that I make doesn’t succeed,” he says, “that’s on me.”

That hasn’t happened much lately. “The Fighter,” in which Wahlberg played Lowell-bred brawler Micky Ward, received multiple Oscar nominations; “Ted” was the surprise hit of last summer; and the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire,” produced by Wahlberg, is must-see TV for the smart set.

So what’s the pilot — which follows a handful of young Boston women — about? First, Wahlberg doesn’t consider it a reality show, preferring to call it a “docu-series.” And he’s emphatic that it will have little in common with crass reality TV franchises like “Jersey Shore” and “Real Housewives.”

“There are plenty of ways to get a paycheck in this business, but I’m always looking to do something top quality,” says Wahlberg. “This is our first venture with a docu-series and we want to do it right. We’re not going to be encouraging these girls to cause trouble and get into [expletive]. We want to give them opportunities to really change their lives.”

The show, which doesn’t have a title yet, will focus on three or four young women who, in Wahlberg’s words, “live in the real world.” That might mean they struggle with money, jobs, boyfriends, family, or drugs and alcohol. The goal of the show, he says, is to give the women a leg up and see if they can take advantage of the help.

What’s interesting is that Wahlberg and his producing partners — Stephen Levinson of Leverage, Bill Thompson of Bill Thompson Productions Inc., and Stephanie Drachkovitch of 44 Blue Productions – didn’t assemble the cast in the usual way. Instead of a casting director, they used some of Wahlberg’s friends and connections from the neighborhood to find the prospective stars. (The show starts filming in the next few weeks.)

“We put a lot of people on tape,” he says.

Wahlberg knows something about the sort of characters he’s looking for because he used to be one. As anyone even remotely familiar with his bio knows, before he was a star, Wahlberg was something of a miscreant with a well-deserved rap sheet.

“Look, when I was young, I had people who wanted to help me, but I didn’t realize it. I liked the nice car and the good-looking girl,” he told us. “At some point, I got out of jail and my brother [Donnie] was able to give me an opportunity. It was a pivotal moment for me.

“With these girls on the show,” he says, “we don’t want them to fail, we want them to succeed.”

The pilot is actually one of two shows Wahlberg is doing for A&E. The other, called “Teamsters,” is focused on Boston’s Teamsters Local 25. That’s already been shot and delivered to the network, but it’s not known yet if the show will be picked up.

Asked to explain Boston’s apparent pop-culture appeal – there are two other Southie-based reality shows being developed as well as a spate of recent films, notably “The Town,” “The Departed,” and “Mystic River” – Wahlberg said he’s somewhat bewildered.

“I spent eight years trying to lose my Boston accent because I thought it was nails on a chalkboard to people,” he said.

Before hanging up, we had to ask Wahlberg, who’s shooting a movie called “Lone Survivor,” if he knows how to ride a horse. After all, that’s not something a guy from Dorchester grows up doing.

“I spent a lot of time on a horse when I did ‘Planet of the Apes,’” he says. “But, no, you don’t see too many of these in the neighborhood unless a police officer’s on it.”

Friday, November 16, 2012

Mark Wahlberg to shoot TV pilot inspired by “The Fighter”

Mark Wahlberg is going to executive produce a reality pilot for A&E inspired by the women from ‘The Fighter’. Here is an article about it from The Boston Globe:

Mark Wahlberg to shoot reality TV pilot inspired by “The Fighter” sisters

The Wahlberg family’s foray into reality TV continues.

Mark Wahlberg confirmed Friday he plans to produce a half-hour pilot for A&E inspired by the Oscar-nominated film, “The Fighter.” Specifically, by the tough-talking sisters of the movie’s stars, Lowell-bred boxer Micky Ward and his brother Dicky Eklund.

The reality show, which doesn’t have a title yet, will focus on a few ordinary women from Boston as they cope with the everyday issues of work, family, relationships, and perhaps alcohol and drugs.

“Three young women from working-class Boston will do whatever it takes to achieve their dreams, move up and out,” reads the A&E pitch. “But can they ever truly leave their past of bad boys, bad choices, and bad behavior behind?”

In addition to Wahlberg, the show’s being produced by Stephen Levinson of Leverage, Bill Thompson of Bill Thompson Productions Inc., and reality TV veteran Stephanie Drachkovitch of 44 Blue Productions.

Thompson told us this is not a knockoff of “Jersey Shore.”

“We have zero interest in that type of show,” he said. “This is more like, ‘What would happen if we gave these girls a shot?’ Maybe they’ll succeed and maybe they’ll crash and burn.”

This is actually Wahlberg’s second reality pilot at A&E. He recently filmed “Teamsters” for the network, which is focused on Boston’s Teamsters Local 25. It’s not known yet if the show will be picked up.

Reality TV has become something of a family affair for the Wahlbergs. Donnie Wahlberg is currently working on a show about the Boston Police Department, and Bob Wahlberg produced a pilot called “Boston Metal,” about a family-owned scrapyard in Brockton, which aired in September on the National Geographic Channel.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mark Wahlberg to star in next ‘Transformers’ movie

Michael Bay says Mark Wahlberg to star in next ‘Transformers’ movie

Here is an article from the Associated Press:

LOS ANGELES — Mark Wahlberg, roll out.

“Transformers” director Michael Bay says the 41-year-old actor will star in the franchise’s fourth film.

Bay called Wahlberg the “perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise and carry on the Transformers’ legacy” in a post on his blog Thursday. He previously squashed rumors that Wahlberg was joining the film franchise about warring robots.

Bay worked with Wahlberg on his upcoming film, “Pain and Gain.”

“Transformers 4” is scheduled to be released by Paramount Pictures on June 27, 2014.

Bay has said the next film will take a new direction in the series. The first three movies starred Shia LaBeouf and featured Peter Cullen as the voice of Autobot general Optimus Prime.

The third “Transformers” film, “Dark of the Moon,” was the second highest-grossing film of 2011.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Mark Wahlberg to remake 'Point Blank' reports that Mark will be working on a new movie called "Point Blank". Here is the article.

Working Title is teaming with Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson's Leverage banner to remake Fred Cavaye's hit French action thriller "Point Blank."

Produced by LGM and Gaumont, the original $14 million "Point Blank," which starred Gilles Lellouche ("The Players"), Roschdy Zem ("Just Like A Woman"), Gerard Lanvin ("A Gang Story") and Elena Anaya ("The Skin I Live In"), delivered a race-against-time story about a male nurse who needs to orchestrate the escape of a murderer in order to keep his kidnapped wife alive.

The Paris-set pic was a B.O. sleeper hit in Gaul and traveled worldwide, including in the U.S. where it was released by Magnolia. It's not related to John Boorman's 1967 pic.

Cavaye's feature debut "Anything for Her" (Pour Elle) also spawned a U.S. remake: Paul Haggis' "The Next Three Days" starring Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks.

Deal was negotiated by Cecile Gaget, Gaumont International topper; Sheeraz Shah and Emily MacKintosh, co-toppers of business affairs at Working Title; and WME on behalf of Leverage, the indie powerhouse behind "Boardwalk Empire" and "Entourage."

"Between Working Title Films and Leverage, it's truly the best production team we could have imagined for this remake," said Gaget, who's attending the AFM with Yohann Comte, Gaumont Intl. deputy head of sales.

"Blank" is also set for South Korean makeover, produced by Syd Lim at Barunson and Young Films, whose track record include such critically-aclaimed pics as Jee-woon Kim's comedy adventure "The Good, the Bad, the Weird," Joon-ho Bong's mystery thriller "Mother" and Dae-woo Kim's drama "The Servant."

The Asian redo will be helmed by up-and-comer Juhn Jaihong, a frequent Kim Ki-duk collaborator, whose debut "Beautiful" preemed at Berlin in 2008; and follow-up, post-war drama romance "Poongsan Dog," was commercially successful, grossing over $11 million worldwide.

Jay Lee at Barunson Co., and Comte at Gaumont negotiated the South Korean remake deal.

Gaumont will handle international sales -- except Asia -- on the Asian makeover.

Along with Olivier Marchal, Cavaye ranks as Gaul's top thriller helmer. He's now lensing his third and most ambitious pic yet, "Mea Culpa," a $20 million action thriller toplining Lellouche, Vincent Lindon ("Mademoiselle Chambon") and Nadine Labaki ("Where Do We Go Now"). Gaumont is shopping "Mea Culpa" at the AFM.