Netflix teams up with Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg to bring back iconic 80s character Spenser
Netflix has decided to bring back a potential series of feature films called 'Spenser' — the iconic, poetic boxer-turned private detective based in Boston character — who was extremely popular in the 80s because of his cheeky, wisecrack nature. Created and made popular in about 40 novels by Robert B Parker, the character is all set to be revived by the streaming network, through a deal it has struck with the late Parker's estate, Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg.
The character of Spenser gained widespread fame through three seasons of the 80s TV series on him, that starred Robert Ulrich. But this time, the first film will be an adaptation of 'Wonderland', one of the eight mystery novels written on Spenser, by Ace Atkins, who continued the series post Parker' death in 2010.
However, there will be certain striking differences between the movie and the novel by Atkins; the upcoming movie will begin with Spenser coming out of prison and of course, stripped off his PI license. What follows is a twisted tale of him getting sucked into the deep-rooted crime scene prevailing in Boston, as he tries to unravel the dark truth behind a sensational murder and the conspiracy surrounding it.
Along with Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, and Berg's Film 44, Neal Moritz is set to produce the feature through his Original Film banner. Sean O’Keefe is in charge of the script, while Toby Ascher will be executive producing along with Film 44’s John Logan Pierson.
The story in itself — panned out over the 40 books by Parker and eight so far by Atkins — is brimming with mythology mingled with some pretty heavy moral code as the wisecrack for a detective makes his way through the thrillers with several other interesting characters building up the plot around him. And of course, plenty of alcohol spilled all over the story!
“If Spenser drank as much as Robert B Parker wrote he did,” Urich shared with Deadline, “he would have looked like Robert B Parker.” In later years, the character of Spenser was taken over by Joe Mantegna in a few TV movies.
While Wahlberg and Berg have collaborated frequently on several projects, their history with investigative shows and the city of Boston portrayed in productions goes a long way too. They "memorably covered Boston in Patriots Day, the drama about the investigation and manhunt for terrorists who detonated explosives at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013," reported Deadline.
During promotions for the same, Wahlberg had told Deadline, “There are so many great stories to be told here. There are so many great characters. They’ve done a great job, those guys. I think I’ve made more movies about Boston than them, but we can all co-exist. They can have Cambridge and everything on that side of the bridge. And everything this way, towards the hood, that is mine. I’ve been to their neck of the woods. I’m not sure they’ve spent that much time in mine.”
So this is clearly his second coming when it comes to utilizing the essence of the city that he seems to be so enthused about.