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Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson to Endure Michael Bay's 'Pain'

Dwayne Johnson
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Michael Bay and his blow-'em-up extravaganzas are famous for both pain (for the Decepticons) and gain (at the box office), but never quite like this before.

News of his next project, "Pain and Gain," popped up last summer during his press interviews for "Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon" in Moscow, but it's such a strange choice for Bay that it sounded more like his ushanka was on too tight at the time. Based on a series of 1999 Miami New Times articles of the same name, "Pain and Gain" is being pegged as a dark comedy about two body builders knee-deep in crime.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Mark Wahlberg might be feeling the vibrations of Bay's project if everyone's schedules and horoscopes align correctly. Variety is reporting that Johnson is in "early talks" whereas Wahlberg's schedule might be too jam-packed to make it work. Of course, it's not like The Rock isn't busy; when he's not breaking the news on Twitter, he's got a bunch of projects lined up as well. So put that in your Calvins, Marky Mark.

The script was written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who have collaborated on "Captain America: The First Avenger," the "Narnia" films, and " The Life and Death of Peter Sellers." Aside from the broad family fare, it's the Peter Sellers biopic that makes it sound like the team could actually hit the "Fargo" tone it's reported they're aiming for. Johnson and Wahlberg were good together on screen in Adam McKay's cop comedy "The Other Guys," but can they hit those special Coen brothers notes?

Bay's been developing this movie with producer Donald De Line since 2001, but with actors in talks, a tentative spring production start date, and a script in place, it looks like this passion project is finally moving forward. With a paltry budget of $20M, it's hard for anyone to resist such a bargain.

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