So here’s something I didn’t know: Mark Wahlberg has hand-picked Justin Bieber to star in his next movie. As a basketball player. In a drama and not a parody, as you or I might’ve originally guessed. Wahlberg recently told E! News, “I think of Paul Newman and Tom Cruise in The Color of Money, but in the world of inner city basketball.” So, that’s replacing the plot of the 1986 pool hustling movie with 2012 and Justin facing off against scary basketball players twice his size. But yes, Marky Mark would play the mentor figure, which leaves Biebs as the Tom Cruise stand-in.
All I can say is, no plotline about a promising young athlete throwing basketball games would be complete without bringing back One Tree Hill‘s treacherous loan shark Daunte. OK, I can say a bit more than that. Comparing Bieber to Tom Cruise? I know that Wahlberg was referring to the era where Cruise was this 26-year-old dreamboat who hadn’t yet gotten tied down with Nicole Kidman and probably looked all smoldery while sizing up the striped six ball to the corner pocket. But still, saying that in this day and age has nothing but negative connotations: Couch-jumping. Chilling Scientology surveillance. All the gay rumors. The way Katie Holmes scampered out from his grasp and filed for sole custody of Suri. Honestly, Suri herself.
I know Wahlberg is trying to do right by his protege, but associating him with a celebrity regarded as a creepy closet case — especially in light of his recent divorce — is the exact wrong mental image to aim for. Still, Wahlberg seems to think he’s got it all under control:
“I just think personally we have a great idea. He’s a great athlete… he’s focused and he wants to have success in the movie world and acting as well. He’s focused and patient about finding the right particular part, working with the right people and I think he’d do a great job. I think we have good chemistry and like I said he’s right for this particular part and it’s an idea we’ve had for a while.”
Wahlberg said that “if I have anything to do with it” we’ll be seeing Justin on the silver screen by next year. He was kind of fun in that one outtake from Never Say Never where he whips his hair back and forth… so if they let him play a total asshole hotshot teenager, then this The Color of Basketball or whatever it will be called movie could be a success. Oh, and of course the two of them need to team up on at least one soundtrack credit.