Sunday, September 23, 2018
  • The Feed
  • What you're talking about today

Netflix movie to star Mark Wahlberg as Robert B. Parker’s Spenser in Tampa author Ace Atkins’ ‘Wonderland’

Fans of the late Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels may be seeing his beloved, wisecracking detective on their TV screens again soon.

Netflix has announced a deal with actor Mark Wahlberg, director-producer Peter Berg and the author's estate to make a series of feature films based on Parker's bestselling novels.

The first movie will be based on Wonderland, a 2013 book by former Tampa resident Ace Atkins, who was tapped by the Parker estate to continue the Spenser series after its author died in 2010. Parker wrote 40 novels about the character, and Atkins so far has published eight, so there's plenty of material for the filmmakers to work with.

An ABC TV series, Spenser: For Hire, ran from 1985 to 1988, with Robert Urich in the title role. I met Parker once, during the show's run, and asked him what he thought of the casting. He told me Urich was a good actor but didn't look the part.

When I asked him what Spenser looked like, the rugged Parker replied, "Like me, only taller."

Actor Joe Mantegna also played Spenser in three made-for-TV movies on A&E in 199-2001.

As Spenser, Boston native Wahlberg might just fit. There's no doubt he could handle the tough-guy part of the character, but I'm not sure how apt he is with witty banter.

In a Facebook post Monday, Atkins wrote, "Many have asked how he'll fare as Parker's iconic private eye. Time will tell. But I'm excited he's using the gritty casino tale of Wonderland to kick things off. At least we know he'll have a solid Boston accent."

(Atkins will be a featured author at the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading in St. Petersburg on Nov. 17, with the latest Spenser novel, Old Black Magic, and the newest in his Quinn Colson series, The Sinners.)

The city of Boston is an essential setting for the Spenser books, so let's hope Wahlberg and Berg will shoot there. They set their 2016 film Patriots Day, about the Boston Marathon bombing, on location.

Now to the big question: Who will play Spenser's comrade in arms, the madly suave and scary Hawk? I don't suppose Idris Elba is available?

 

Comments
All the celebs arrested, married and sued this week from Plies to Bieber-Baldwin rumors

All the celebs arrested, married and sued this week from Plies to Bieber-Baldwin rumors

Here's a guide to some entertainment news you might've missed this week.ARRESTED: Rapper Plies was arrested at Tampa International Airport on Wednesday after authorities say a gun was found in his carry-on bag. The 42-year-old Wesley Chapel resident ...
Published: 09/21/18
'Sesame Street' scribe reveals LGBTQ inspiration for writing Bert and Ernie

'Sesame Street' scribe reveals LGBTQ inspiration for writing Bert and Ernie

It’s a question that’s been bandied about for decades: Are Sesame Street dynamic duo Bert and Ernie more than just roommates? Or are they instead engaged in a lifelong love affair?A recent interview with Mark Saltzman, a playwright and ...
Published: 09/19/18
Losers of the week: Norm Macdonald has much to apologize for, Henry Cavill out as Superman

Losers of the week: Norm Macdonald has much to apologize for, Henry Cavill out as Superman

Here's some entertainment (and entertaining) news you might've missed this week.Norm Macdonald keeps putting his foot in his mouthNorm Macdonald on Thursday issued his latest in a string of apologies for continuing to put his foot in his mouth.The "S...
Published: 09/14/18
Woodward’s ‘Fear’ flies off the shelves, Daniels’ ‘Full Disclosure’ waits in the wings

Woodward’s ‘Fear’ flies off the shelves, Daniels’ ‘Full Disclosure’ waits in the wings

Donald Trump's presidency continues to be a gift to the publishing industry.Author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward's in-depth report on the  dysfunctional administration, Fear: Trump in the White House, had already racked up m...
Published: 09/13/18
Aftermath of the Geoffrey Owens whirlwind: He quit Trader Joe’s, the woman who took viral pic regrets it

Aftermath of the Geoffrey Owens whirlwind: He quit Trader Joe’s, the woman who took viral pic regrets it

Here's some entertainment (and entertaining) news you might've missed this week.Geoffrey Owens quit that Trader Joe’s job and the woman who took the pic regrets itThe woman who snapped the viral photo of actor Geoffrey Owens bagging groceries a...
Updated one month ago
27 scary (and not so scary) movies to see at Tampa Theatre this Halloween season

27 scary (and not so scary) movies to see at Tampa Theatre this Halloween season

Don’t dare doze off during the all-day, 14-hour movie marathon at Tampa Theatre on Oct. 20 — Freddy Krueger might follow you to dreamland. At least you might feel that way after taking in all six of the original Nightmare on Elm Street f...
Updated one month ago