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Wahlberg takes on drug lord role

Actor to star in Peter Berg-directed biopic

Paramount has set Mark Wahlberg to star in and Peter Berg to direct an untitled film based on the life of international drug dealer Jon Roberts, whose rise and fall was chronicled in the documentary “Cocaine Cowboys.”

Film 44’s Berg and Sarah Aubrey will produce with Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson, both of whom are exec producers of HBO’s “Entourage.” Roberts’ rights are part of the package, and a writer will be set once the strike ends.

After returning from Vietnam as a decorated soldier, Roberts headed to Miami in the late ’70s and formed a relationship with the Medellin drug cartel, distributing cocaine worth billions of dollars. Wahlberg will play Roberts, who was turned in by a cohort and served a decade in jail for his crimes.

The actor is currently filming Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones” and will next work for Paramount when he stars with Brad Pitt in the Darren Aronofsky-directed “The Fighter.” Wahlberg will next be seen toplining M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening,” which Fox releases June 13. Aside from “Entourage,” Wahlberg and Levinson are exec producers of the new HBO series “In Treatment.”

Berg, who last directed “The Kingdom,” is in post-production on “Hancock,” which stars Will Smith, Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman. Sony releases the film July 2.

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