Earlier today, ComingSoon.net’s Heather Newgen talked exclusively to Mark Wahlberg from the junket for his new 20th Century Fox movie Max Payne, and he updated us on a few of the projects he’s been attached to in the past few months. Apparently, Darren Aronofsky’s boxing movie The Fighter might have been backburnered, for Aronofsky to direct the new RoboCop despite the buzz surrounding his latest movie The Wrestler. (UPDATE: At the same time, The Playlist has posted a story saying that Brad Pitt had completely dropped out of the project, which may be part of the reason for the problems Wahlberg alludes to below. You can read about that here.)
Wahlberg also talked about progress on the true-life Miami drug thriller Cocaine Cowboys he’s producing with Peter Berg based around the doc of the same name and brief blips about sequels to two of Wahlberg’s most popular movies, The Italian Job and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed.
But first, she asked Wahlberg what was going on with The Fighter:
ComingSoon.net: Have you started shooting that yet?
Mark Wahlberg: No and I don’t know if we’re going to start.
CS: What do you mean? There’s so much buzz about it.
Wahlberg: I know. I keep on training and I don’t know. We’ll wait and see. Hopefully we’ll get a start date one of these days and we can make the movie.
CS: What’s the hold up?
Wahlberg: A whole bunch of things. It’s too depressing to talk about. I get up everyday at 5:00AM to train for a movie that might not even happen. It’s depressing.
CS: I know you’re producing “Cocaine Cowboys.” What stage of development is that film in?
Wahlberg: We’re waiting for the first draft of the script which should be in about eight weeks. I’m very excited about it.
CS: Do you have anyone attached to the film yet?
Wahlberg: Just Pete Berg to direct and produce with me.
CS: Who do you have in mind for the cast?
Wahlberg: Well there’s a bunch of great, great roles so we’ll have to see. I have some people in mind, but nobody set in stone.
CS: Will you be in the film as well or are just producing?
Wahlberg: No, hopefully I’ll be playing Jon Roberts.
CS: What is it about “Cocaine Cowboys” that made you want to produce the film?
Wahlberg: It’s just the most amazing story I’ve seen. The documentary was fantastic. The stuff that these guys were doing down there in Miami was just crazy. We’re going to make “Scarface” times 10. I know that’s a big feat, but this is the real deal.
CS: What’s going on with “Departed 2″?
Wahlberg: I don’t know. They’re still trying to make “Italian Job 2″ so who knows. If it’s worth doing and it’s better than the first than it’s worth entertaining. People loved the first one. If we can make it better than the first then we’ll go on to do the prequel and go on to bring everybody back for that.
CS: Is there a script or have you heard anything about it?
Wahlberg: No, they’ve tried many scripts on the “Italian Job”, but we’ll see. I’m never holding my breath.
CS: What about a script for “The Departed 2″?
Wahlberg: I don’t know if they’re working on it yet. I have no idea what’s going on. I’m so focused on “Fighter” and that’s not even happening so it’s all depressing. I’m just looking for the next thing. I’m always looking for the next thing. I’ve done three or four movies since I’ve been training for “Fighter.”
CS: How long have you been training?
Wahlberg: Quite a long time. It will be two years tomorrow. They finally got the green light, now we have to figure out the cast thing. I’m going to meet with Darren Aronofsky on Tuesday in New York so we’ll see. The great thing about training is that I just keep getting better and better in the ring. Ultimately if I can train for another six months and look like a world class fighter that would be great as opposed to other people who have done it and probably trained for three weeks and then shot it and looked like they’re in a Hollywood movie.
Look for more with Wahlberg talking about Max Payne later this week before it opens on Friday, October 17.