Variety is reporting that Mark Wahlberg has just signed to star in M. Night Shyamalan's new thriller, The Happening. Shyamalan has a lot to prove this time out. Audiences were ready to forgive the ludicrous ending of the otherwise pretty neat The Village, but nobody could have expected the full-on disaster that was Lady in the Water, a film that recently "won" Shyamalan two Razzie awards. The Happening will be an apocalyptic story and will likely be his first "R" rated film. Wahlberg will play "a man who takes his family on the run when the world turns upside and a cataclysmic natural crisis threatens to end the world. " 20th Century Fox will release the film worldwide on June 13th (that's Friday the 13th, y'all! Spooooky!) of next year.
Marky Mark has turned into quite the actor, and he's worked with several of the most interesting directors working today. To name just a few, he's acted for Paul Thomas Anderson in Boogie Nights, Jonathan Demme in The Truth About Charlie, Tim Burton in Planet of the Apes (Boo!), David O. Russell in Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees -- a production that seems to have just been a dream to work on, and Martin Scorsese in The Departed -- which I recently told you also didn't go so smoothly. Just last month it was announced that he will co-star with Matt Damon in Darren Aronofsky's The Fighter. And now Shyamalan, who I sincerely hope will get his groove back with The Happening. I think if he'd just get that ego in check, he could be one of our best directors. The Happening starts shooting in Philadelphia this August.
"Mark has a unique blend of charisma, humanity, authenticity and skillfulness as an actor," Shyamalan says. "All of which coalesced at this moment in his career, making him the perfect person to take on the role of Eliot Moore, the science teacher at the center of this event."