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Mark Wahlberg bombed the pitch for a ‘Departed 2’ film

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Believe it or not, some sequels to major box office hits never see the light of day.

“The Departed” scooped up four Academy Awards and countless accolades when it hit theaters in 2006. But despite the tendency of Hollywood to milk the success of its greatest films, a sequel just wasn’t in the cards for the Martin Scorsese thriller — and that may be in part star Mark Wahlberg’s fault.

Wahlberg, 50, stopped by KFC Radio earlier this week for an interview in which he revealed that he pitched “The Departed 2.” The sequel would have potentially also starred screen legends Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt.

But alas, Warner Bros. didn’t go for it and the rest is history. Wahlberg discussed the moment that he and the film’s screenwriter, William “Bill” Monahan, stepped into the studio’s office.

“Let’s just say the pitch didn’t go very well,” the Boston native said with a laugh. “[Bill] didn’t really have anything [fleshed] out.”

Wahlberg assumed Monahan would have done more of his homework on the concept, he said.

“He’s the kind of guy you just trust to go and write something. And so when we were working on the script for ‘Cocaine Cowboys’ and ‘American Desperado,’ [I] said, ‘Bill, just go write.’ [Warner Bros.] likes to have things well-thought out and planned.”

Monahan scored the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2007 for “The Departed,” while Wahlberg, who played police staff sergeant Sean Dignam, earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

“It’d be a pretty good one,” he added of Pitt and De Niro’s projected involvement.

Pitt was actually on hand to play Matt Damon’s Colin Sullivan role in the crime drama — however, he opted to produce the film instead.

Monahan spoke about his trashed sequel in 2011 with /Film. The screenwriter explained, “My idea actually is to set the film before, during, and after the action of the first film, which I think would be extraordinary.”

He continued, “Essentially, in the middle section of the thing I’ve intended, you’d see actions that take place during the original ‘Departed,’ but aren’t on screen in the original ‘Departed.’ There would be off-screen things that occur at that point in the story, but it would work seamlessly as a movie of its own.”

Mark Wahlberg in The Departed
Wahlberg and “The Departed” screenwriter Bill Monahan pitched a sequel to the crime drama to Warner Bros.
Warner Brothers

He also stated that he doesn’t like to “do synopses” and he doesn’t pitch. According to Monahan, these are two actions that Warner Bros. are big fans of seeing before greenlighting an idea.

“Personally, I don’t know if it’s ever going to happen,” he said. “I know the film, I’ve got the film in my head. Even if everybody didn’t come back, which they could in the film as I’ve configured it, it would be a hell of a paycheck for somebody to write. The film would have to be absolutely superb.”

Wahlberg and Monahan’s “Cocaine Cowboys” and “American Desperado” scripts also did not make it to the big screen. They later worked together on the 2014 movie “The Gambler.”

 



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