Two upcoming romantic comedies once shared the title Friends with Benefits, and now a similar thing is happening elsewhere in Hollywood. Not to be confused with James McTeigue’s upcoming Edgar Allan Poe thriller starring John Cusack, this version of The Raven will star Mark Wahlberg as a super-powered man on the run from police drones in a futuristic Los Angeles. More info after the jump.
The movie will be based on Ricardo De Montreuil’s short film (watch it in its entirety right here) and follows in the wake of other short film projects being scooped by studios after the tremendous success of Neill Blomkamp’s District 9. A bevy of other talented filmmakers took to YouTube attempting to impress studios, and De Montreuil’s short made an impression on Universal. And though the studio hasn’t hired him to direct the feature version of his own short (as was the case with Blomkamp), the up-and-coming director scored a gig directing another movie, a coming-of-age drama called Lowriders.
To be frank, I didn’t find the short to be particularly enticing as subject matter for a feature film. It looked like a low-budget version of Paul McGuigan’s Push, and I honestly can’t imagine Wahlberg in the lead role. Seems like they should go with someone much younger. In my opinion, this doesn’t seem like a smart move for Wahlberg, who is gaining some popularity in the film community with his work on The Fighter. In any case, the former leader of the Funky Bunch will produce and star in the feature.
Another potential negative for this movie? The script will be written by Justin Marks, a writer whose name has been attached to a seemingly endless list of fanboy properties (including the awesome-sounding Super Max a few years back), but whose only real credit so far has been Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. I think I’ll pass on this one.