Mark Wahlberg is looking for a few ‘tough guys’ to appear in his latest project. Wahlberg has been quoted saying, “I’m not looking for big guys. Size [doesn’t] matter. I don’t care if you’ve never performed or acted a day in your life. I just want tough guys.”
While the studio has not announced the official name of the project to the public we have very good reason to believe that this big mystery project is none other than Netflix series Wonderland (more on that below).
Boston Casting says auditions will be held at its offices in the city’s Allston neighborhood. But what made this casting call so extremely epic is that it’s encouraging “real people” with “tough faces” to answer the call.
The company says it’s looking for construction workers, blue collar workers, DPW workers, “fishermen, mob guys, etc.,” for speaking roles and on-camera extras. Wahlberg and the company are known for wanting very genuine roles to both give more character to their productions and to do their best to give amazing jobs and opportunities to the community.
The call for tough men and real men did not disappoint either.
Some of the ‘tough men’ who showed up for one of the casting calls.
It’s most likely filming for “Wonderland” — a collaboration between Netflix, Wahlberg and “Patriots Day” director Peter Berg — in the works.
It will star Wahlberg as the Boston private investigator immortalized in ABC’s 1980s television series “Spenser: For Hire.”
It’s another huge win for Netflix and its film chief Scott Stuber. The studio has set up an adaptation of Robert Parker’s “Wonderland,” with Mark Wahlberg set to star and Peter Berg to direct.
Neal H. Moritz is producing via his Original Film banner, alongside Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Berg via his Film 44 company.
The film is being adapted from “Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland,” written by Ace Atkins. The book is part of the Spenser series — named after a fictional character in a series of detective novels initially written by the American mystery writer Robert B. Parker and later by Ace Atkins.
The story follows Spenser who, fresh out of prison, is sucked back into Boston’s underbelly as he uncovers the truth about a sensational murder and the twisted conspiracy behind it.
Parker’s Spenser character has been the basis for 48 novels, all New York Times bestsellers.
Sean O’Keefe is adapting the script. Toby Ascher will executive produce alongside Film 44’s John Logan Pierson.
Mark Wahlberg & director Peter Berg
When Stuber was hired as the head of film at Netflix, one of his biggest goals was to use his resources as a mega-producer to attract A-list talent to the streaming service and he has done exactly that.
The announcement comes on the heels of Netflix’s teaming with Skydance on Michael Bay’s $100 million tentpole “Six Underground” with Ryan Reynolds set to star. Though “Wonderland” is not expected to be on the scale of “Six Underground,” the talent attached is sending a message to the industry that Netflix is ready and willing to tackle these major productions with A-list talent.
As for Wahlberg, sources had told Variety that the star was looking for something to fill his fall slot after his Warner Bros. pic “Six Billion Dollar Man” was pushed due to the loss of its director. Wahlberg had been weighing several projects — there was even a rumor Berg may come on to direct “Six Billion Dollar Man.”
In the end, “Wonderland” won the pair’s commitment and will mark the fifth time the two have worked together. Previous pics include “Lone Survivor,” “Patriot’s Day,” “Deepwater Horizon,” and the upcoming “Mile 22,” which opens in August.
The estate of Robert B. Parker was represented in negotiations by Mary Alice Kier and Anna Cottle of Cine/Lit Representation. Wahlberg is represented by WME, Leverage Management and Sloane Offer and Berg is repped by WME and Hirsch Wallerstein.
O’Keefe is repped by ICM Partners, Brian Lutz Management and Bloom Hergott.