Like many filmmakers, director Peter Berg has actors who he likes to work and collaborate with film after film. Martin Scorsese has Leonardo DiCaprio, Quentin Tarantino has Samuel L. Jackson and Peter Berg has Mark Wahlberg. The actor-director duo has teamed on Deepwater Horizon, Mile 22, Lone Survivor and Patriots Day, and this year they team up once more for the new Netflix film Spenser Confidential. And despite their great working relationship, Peter Berg loves how often Mark Wahlberg gets his butt kicked in the new movie.
Spenser Confidential is based on a series of detective novels created by Robert B. Parker and later written by Ace Atkins. It tells the story of Mark Wahlberg’s ex-cop and felon, Spenser, who teams up with an MMA fighter, played by Black Panther’s Winston Duke, in order to solve a murder. But like all great cinematic crime-fighting duos, these two don’t always get along, as Peter Berg explained to USA Today:
They are two guys who have absolutely no interest in each other and are forced to basically be roommates. It's a relationship that starts off with a fair amount of hostility and then turns into something much more emotional.
Mark Wahlberg might be the physically imposing tough guy in many of his film roles, but it sounds like the shoe will be on the other foot in Spenser Confidential. Winston Duke is a much bigger man than Mark Wahlberg, and his character in the Netflix Original will be an MMA fighter. So the acrimonious relationship between Spenser and Hawk will probably be pretty one-sided if it turns physical.
It sounds like that’s exactly what happens too. Peter Berg got quite the kick out of seeing his leading man on the receiving end of a few beatings, which apparently allowed Mark Wahlberg to use his comedic talents. Peter Berg said:
He gets the (stuffing) beat out of him about every 15 minutes. It's very enjoyable.
It sounds like it. Maybe that should be Netflix’s pitch for Spenser Confidential: "Come for the action and the comedy, stay to see Mark Wahlberg get repeatedly beat up." Whether Mark Wahlberg’s Spenser will be getting beat up by Winston Duke’s Hawk, the bad guys or both is unclear. I suspect he’ll be getting it from just about everyone, at least until he and his unlikely roommate officially become best friends.
Although the two will start off as an odd couple bring forced together, just like Carter & Lee and Riggs & Murtaugh before them, it sounds like Spenser and Hawk will eventually become a team. It looks like the two are working together in one of the first stills from Spenser Confidential, which you can see below.
If Winston Duke and Mark Wahlberg have the kind of chemistry that Mark Wahlberg had with Will Ferrell in The Other Guys, Spenser Confidential could be a real winner for Netflix. In addition to the duo, Spenser Confidential also stars Colleen Camp, Alan Arkin, Bokeem Woodbine, Post Malone, Iliza Shlesinger and Marc Maron.