Justin Bieber Planning Hoop Dreams

Basketball movie with Mark Wahlberg

Having escaped the Funky Bunch with some level of integrity, the former Marky Mark has begun a mission to rehabilitate other potential victims of teen pop stardom. This is the only explanation we can come up with to explain why Mark Wahlberg is apparently actively producing a film vehicle for chart-dominating goblin Justin Bieber.

Wahlberg, the story goes, was so impressed by Bieber's basketball skills at an all-star NBA game weekend in February, that he's itching to give him a movie. How To Make It In America writer Ian Edelman has been charged with creating a hoop-shooting script channelling The Colour of Money and The Karate Kid.

Wahlberg will also co-star, we'd surmise, given the pitch, in some sort of Mr Miyagi / Fast Eddie Felson role, and his co-producers are Stephen Levinson (who he works with on America, Boardwalk Empire and Entourage) and Bieber's manager Scooter Braun.

The deal is being set up at Paramount, who made $100m from Bieber's $13m-budgeted Never Say Never. There's no director attached yet, but we're sure Jean-Luc Godard and Aki Kaurismaki are sitting anxiously by the phone.