Spenser is back…again. This time it’s the team of Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg bringing the ex-cop to the screen with “Spenser Confidential.” Before delving into the new world Netflix is cultivating for their team, let’s get in a little history lesson. You’d be forgiven if this talk of Spenser seems like deja vu; after all, this is the fourth incarnation of the character. Starting in the late ‘70s with author Robert B. Parker, the second turn would be an ‘80s adaptation for ABC. Of course, nothing stays dead for too long in the world of revivals and remakes. Writer Ace Atkins was chosen by the estate to begin a new series of Spenser novels which leads us neatly into Netflix picking up a project adapting Atkins’ Wonderland.
Wahlberg, no stranger to playing the heroic lead, takes over Spenser. Fans of the novels (or TV series) will be happy to hear that Hawk is very much in this adaptation. Picking up where Avery Brooks left off is Winston Duke. For his part, Duke represents an exciting choice for the project. The actor more than proved himself as a potential leading man with great performances in “Black Panther” and “Us.”
This is far Berg’s first pairing with Wahlberg, but his focus on grit and realism might just be the glue that holds this together. While many cite “Lone Survivor” as Berg’s best film, his emphasis on portraying humanity over a tragedy itself sets “Deepwater Horizon” apart from other similarly themed projects. Also, don’t discount Berg’s time as an actor as a factor. He works well with his cast because he understands where they’re coming from. Whether it makes a difference for “Spenser Confidential” remains to be seen.
The official synopsis:
Spenser moves in with Hawk, an aspiring MMA fighter with his own rap sheet. Between gym rounds, the duo’s taunts turn to trust, and they team up to solve a double homicide.
“Spenser Confidential” comes to Netflix on March 6th. Watch the trailer below (note, it’s “EllenTube” which means, the trailer is bad and takes a minute to load).