Mark Wahlberg Bringing Shooter To TV

Sniper Bob Lee Swagger switches to TNT

Mark Wahlberg in Shooter

by Owen Williams |
Published on

Cast your minds back to 2007, and you may recall Mark Wahlberg starring in the fun action thriller Shooter, with Antoine Fuqua directing. Since it was based on the first of a series of novels by Stephen Hunter, there was potential for further adventures for Wahlberg's sniper Bob Lee Swagger. They never materialised, but we may yet see Swagger again. Wahlberg is now developing a TV version in cahoots with TNT, producer Stephen Levinson and screenwriter John Hlavin.

In the books Swagger is a Vietnam veteran, responsible for almost 400 kills but haunted by the death of his spotter Donny Fenn. The first novel, Point Of Impact (the one adapted for the film), sees Swagger employed by a secret organisation to protect the US President, only to find that he's been set up as a patsy in an assassination attempt. Further adventures saw him avenging Fenn, undertaking shenanigans in Japan and on the NASCAR circuit, and getting embroiled in the War On Terror.

Given that the potential series is explicitly spun from the film, we can expect the set-up and Swagger's background to remain an updated version. There's currently no suggestion, however, that Wahlberg will once again be Swagger. His role here seems more akin to his oversight role on Entourage, acting as Executive Producer alongside his frequent honcho Levinson. So whoever does end up behind the sniper's sights will have his predecessor looking over his shoulder. No pressure.

Shooter is the latest in a series of examples of Paramount plundering its film archive for TV spin-offs: it joins Minority Report, Shutter Island and School Of Rock on the development slate. The studio will be hoping they all get further than Beverly Hills Cop (abandoned after the pilot, although a fourth film is now in the works).

There's no date for the Shooter pilot yet, but we might surmise Wahlberg and Levinson will have it in motion by the time the final season of their Boardwalk Empire wraps.

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