Mark Wahlberg Pulls Out of Bodybuilder Action Kidnap Thriller

Pain and Gain

Bodybuilders-turned-desperadoes movie “Pain and Gain” is looking for a new lead, after favourite choice Mark Wahlberg pulled out recently.

Action-movie supremo Michael Bay has been given the job of directing the forthcoming film, which is based on a true crime story which took place in the mid-1990s.

A group of Miami bodybuilders decided to turn to a life of crime and restyled themselves “the Sun Gym gang”, before kidnapping and robbing wealthy businessman Marc Schiller, who they kept hostage for nearly a month at a warehouse in the city’s Hialeah area, torturing him to try and gain access to the millions in his off-shore bank accounts. Eventually, gang leader David Lugo was hunted down and arrested, thanks to the work of a private detective hired by Schiller.

The mixture of action, bodybuilding, crime thriller and farce was too tempting for Michael Bay – whose hits include Pearl Harbor and the Transformers triology – to resist. This time around, however, the story will be told as a dark comedy, based on a 2000 screenplay by Miami investigative journalist Pete Collins which has been adapted by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

It is believed that bodybuilding movie star The Rock – aka Dwayne Johnson – has been signed up to play Lugo, but “Marky” Mark Wahlberg passed on the chance to play Marc Schiller. Bay is now scouting around for an alternative. The flamboyant director announced his plans to make the movie soon after the release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, claiming that he wished to bring out the bodybuilding film between the second and third instalments of the Transformers franchise. However, following Paramount’s decision to give the third film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, a 2011 release date, Pain and Gain was put back. Bay has also told showbiz reporters that the film will be the smallest budget flick he has made since his debut – Bad Boys, in 1995 – with a budget of just $20 million.

However, any comedy from the film will not be shared by Lugo and another member of the Sun Gym gang, Adrian Doorbal – both of who are sitting on Florida’s death row awaiting execution.

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