Coming off a hilariously entertaining role alongside Will Ferrell in the summer hit, The Other Guys, Mark Wahlberg has landed a role in another upcoming comedy. Ted, the directorial debut of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, stars an average guy from Boston (Wahlberg) whose childhood wish brought his stuffed bear to life; years later, the life-size, walking-talking teddy is still his best friend.
However, as one might guess, having a teddy bear best friend poses a dilemma — a carousing, irresponsible slacker, the bear gets in the way of his buddy committing to adulthood and the girl he loves.
Ted draws inspiration from Neil Swaab’s acclaimed comic, “Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles,” which appears in various magazines including the New York Press. Universal Pictures acquired the rights to the film last April, and Media Rights Capital agreed to finance the $65 million budget. MacFarlane’s partners in “Family Guy,” Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, helped write the script for Ted, crossing the line of “racy sitcom” and earning the film an R-rating.
It will utilize a mixture of live-action and CGI to bring the bear to life, and MacFarlane himself will provide the voice-over for the animated character. Some who have predicted a “Family Guy” feature-film in the works believe the success or failure of Ted may be a good indicator of future big-screen projects for the young director.
Dorchester, Mass. native Wahlberg has been busy lately; he also will star as Boston wrestler “Irish” Mickey Ward in David O’Russell’s The Fighter, which will hit theaters in the U.S. on December 10, 2010. According to an interview with Mike Fleming for Deadline New York, Wahlberg comitted wholly to the film. The moment he learned that the role was his, nearly 5 years ago, he built a boxing ring his backyard, hired two trainers out of his own pocket, and worked out extensively to prepare himself. According to Wahlberg, playing the role of Micky and filming the movie so close to his hometown brought back memories of his own childhood. “There were so many comparisons to my life, my story, my upbringing,” he said. Check out the trailer for The Fighter below.
Walhberg will also appear alongside Kate Beckinsale in Contraband, a remake of the 2008 Icelandic crime drama Reykjavic-Rotterdam. Wahlberg hopes to follow the release of that picture in 2012 with MacFarlane’s Ted.
This summer is turning out to be a very east coast oriented one for Adam Sandler as he is involved with yet another film to be shot in Massachusetts later in the summer.
Sandler has been in Southborough for the past few weeks filming his upcoming movie, Grown Ups (also known as the Lake House) but, according to an article on the Massachusetts Film Office website, he will be involved with a new movie, The Zookeeper, which will begin shooting in October. The film will be about a bunch of animals that break their codes of silence in order to help a lowly zookeeper vie for the attention of a stunning lady. The film is slated to be shot at the Franklin Park Zoo in Dorchester, where construction of the movie set has already begun.
Directed by Frank Coraci and written by Scot Armstrong and Nick Bakay, the film will feature Kevin James as the main character and Rosario Dawson as the female lead. According to the Massachusetts Film office, Sandler, who will be providing the voice for a capuchin monkey, will be joined by Cher, Sylvester Stallone and Jon Favreau, who will be playing a giraffe, a lion and a bear, respectively. Ken Jeong, Leslie Bibb and Thomas Gottschalk are rumored to be joining the cast as well.
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