Thesp would join Wahlberg, Johnson in Bay pic

The muscled ensemble of Michael Bay’s “Pain and Gain” continues to grow, as “The Hurt Locker” star Anthony Mackie is in talks to join Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson as the third lead in Michael Bay’s low-budget Paramount pic.

Paramount had no comment.

Based on a true story first told in an article from the Miami New Times, film follows a group of bodybuilders who engaged in a campaign of kidnapping, extortion and murder in Florida.

Mackie is in negotiations to play Adrian Doorbal, a big-hearted bodybuilder who works out with Wahlberg’s character, Daniel Lugo. Doorbal has little to show for his hard work, leading him to get involved with Lugo’s scheme.

Ed Harris will co-star as private detective Ed Du Bois, while Rob Corddry will play John Mese, the former accountant and notary who owns the gym where Lugo works.

Bay is producing with Donald De Line and Ian Bryce. “Captain America” scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely wrote the script. Production is expected to begin in early spring.

With “Pain and Gain,” Mackie will continue his ascent as a leading man in studio films. Thesp is coming off a series of strong supporting roles, including Universal’s “The Adjustment Bureau,” DreamWorks’ “Real Steel” and Summit’s “Man on a Ledge,” as well as upcoming turns in Fox’s adaptation of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” and WB’s “The Gangster Squad.”

Thesp recently wrapped the lead in the indie “Vipaka,” which pairs him with Forest Whitaker.

Mackie is repped by UTA and Inspire Entertainment.

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