Mark Wahlberg seems to be busier now than ever before, and while some people may find that news to be unfortunate I myself am happy to see it happening. (Not to be mistaken with me being happy to see The Happening…) He’s a charismatic actor, and his limited range rarely prevents him from being entertaining at the very least. He released the mild hit Contraband earlier this year, is in post-production on two films and is already potentially attached to another four including Michael Bay’s first non-robot movie in seven years, Pain and Gain.
Headhunters is a blackly comic thriller from Norway about an insecure corporate headhunter who moonlights as an art thief. His casually extravagant life takes a dark turn when a robbery goes awry and he finds himself double-crossed and on the run. The film, based on the slim novel by Jo Nesbø, is a an absolutely fantastic ride and was one of my personal favorites from last year. It’s funny, violent, and constantly surprising…and Summit quickly snapped it up for a US remake with Sacha Gervasi attached to helm.
According to Shortlist, Wahlberg recently fell in love with the Norwegian film and apparently made a personal appeal to Gervasi to be a part of the remake. It’s assumed Wahlberg is interested in playing the lead role for three reasons. One, it’s the lead. Two, he’s the closest thing there is to a sympathetic hero in the film. And three, a big part of the character’s motivation and persona is tied up in his short stature. Having Wahlberg play the rugged, tall model-like “villain” of the story would be ridiculous… imagine someone like Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher (from Lee Child’s book series) and you’ll have an idea how silly it would be.
Gervasi is a bit of a wild card here as his resume doesn’t exactly scream “bloody comic thriller,” but between his directorial debut (Anvil! The Story of Anvil) and his writing credits (including Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal and an upcoming pseudo biopic on Hervé Villechaize) he’s at least shown an interesting range of interests. The bigger concern is Summit. A few solid films aside their recent production history is a rap sheet of terrible movies.
As stated above, Wahlberg is entertaining in just about everything, so his involvement here is a plus. He does seem to have an above average interest in remakes though as evidenced by the five he’s already done. Planet of the Apes, The Truth About Charlie, The Italian Job, The Departed, and the recent Contraband… at least the trending shows that the crappy ones are focused at the early end of the list.
The remake is still in the early days of pre-pre-production, so there’s no time frame as to when we’ll get to see it. But that’s okay since the original is scheduled to hit our shores in limited release later this year. Check it out if you get the chance. You won’t be disappointed.
(Thanks to The Playlist for the heads up.)