Mark Wahlberg Working on New Projects With David O. Russell and LeBron James
Mark Wahlberg has been on a roll with director Peter Berg, but a few years before the two started working together, Wahlberg was known more for his creative partnership with David O. Russell. The actor had a hand in the director’s big comeback with The Fighter, but after that drama, the two have yet to make another film together. That may change soon, though, since Wahlberg is now working with Russell on a biopic about Father Stuart Long.
There’s also another new Mark Wahlberg project in the works involving LeBron James. Below, learn more about these new Mark Wahlberg projects.
Wahlberg stars this month in Berg’s Deepwater Horizon, which scored some very promising reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival. The actor went on Facebook Live to promote the film, and during a fan Q & A, he was asked about the sequel to The Fighter. Wahlberg said he still believes there’s a story to be made about the Micky Ward/Arturo Gatti trilogy, but he spent more time discussing the script Russell is writing about Father Stuart Long:
David O. Russell and I are working on developing a script about Father Stu, who was an amazing priest from Helena, Montana. He was a very tough guy who was a fighter, a football player…anything but a spiritual guy. He found his calling, and decided, after falling in love with a woman, that he wanted to become a priest. He suffered from this horrible muscular degenerative disease but was still ordained as a priest and passed away, but not before he was able to inspire thousands upon thousands of people. I think it’s an amazing, inspirational story, so David and I are working on that right now.
Father Stuart Long passed away in 2014 at the age of 50. Before becoming a priest, his potential career as a boxer was ended by reconstructive jaw surgery. Stuart Long then moved to Los Angeles and tried to break into the film industry, but after a near-death experience, he felt priesthood was his calling. The Independent Record wrote an obituary that illustrates what a life Father Stuart Long had; it’s obvious why Russell and Wahlberg would want to tell his story. There was a rumor the two had a falling out around Silver Linings Playbook, which Wahlberg was originally going to star in, so it’s great to see the two still aren’t done making movies together.
As for the project Wahlberg is developing with LeBron James, it sounds like that comedy is closer to happening than his next David O. Russell film:
LeBron James and I are possibly going to do a movie this summer. It’s about guys going to fantasy basketball camp, and me getting in a lot of trouble and having to go at it with LeBron.
Wahlberg is also working with former basketball player Caron Butler at the moment. Wahlberg is producing a biopic about Butler, which, like Father Stuart Long’s life, is another story that involves religion. We’ll next see the actor in Deepwater Horizon and later this year in Patriot’s Day.
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