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Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg have become one of Hollywood's most fascinating creative partnerships. Ever since their initial collaboration on Lone Survivor, the two have gone on to adapt several true stories such as Patriots Day and Deepwater Horizon. These films proved incredibly intense for both of them, which was a principal reason why they wanted to do something purely fictional with Mile 22. I recently asked Mark Wahlberg about this during the film's recent press day in Los Angeles, and he told me:
We had given up so much energy, and the movies that we had made before were so intense. These real-life tragedies. It was like, 'Let's just do something where we can kind of just go off and have our own kind of fun.' Make it just a little less intense and draining. So yeah, I mean we still did something that's really intense, but we got to take the gloves off and get a little crazy, which is what we like to do.
If you have seen the previews for Mile 22, you know that it's not a happy-go-lucky romp. That said, the movie is more of an intense action movie with a throwback style, rather than a straight-faced adaptation of an event in which real people died. Because of that distinction, Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg were able to do something with a less serious tone and a more significant emphasis on fun.
Of course, it's worth noting that Mile 22 is still a pretty intense movie, regardless of whether or not it's fictional. Though it does not adapt one specific event or tragedy that has occurred in American history, the film is still an r-rated take on American special forces, and elsewhere in my interview with Mark Wahlberg he explained that it was important for the team behind the film to nail that intensity to honor the type of story they were telling. This may have been a more fun film for them to make, but it simply could not be done with a PG-13 label.
Want to hear exactly what Mark Wahlberg had to say to me during the Mile 22 press day in Los Angeles? Check out a clip from our interview, below!
Mile 22 centers on an elite group of America special forces operators and CIA specialists operating in Southeast Asia. When an informant brings them a critical piece of intelligence and offers to unlock it on the condition that he receive asylum, the team springs into action to transport him 22 miles to an airstrip for exfiltration. In addition to Mark Wahlberg, the film also stars The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan, Furious 7's Ronda Rousey, and The Raid: Redemption's Iko Uwais.
Audiences will get a chance to see the world that Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg have created this weekend when Mile 22 debuts in theaters on August 17. Until then, make sure to stay tuned for more updates related to the film, and head over to our 2018 movie premiere guide to read up on all of the notable release dates that are around the corner for this year.