Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg is in talks to star in Seth MacFarlane's adult comedy "Ted," the actor's representation at WME has confirmed to TheWrap.
Wahlberg will play an average Boston guy who, as a child, made a wish for his teddy bear to come to life. The wish came true, and the beloved bear is still the man's best friend -- except now the stuffed animal is a foul-mouthed slacker who gets in the way of his owner's commitment to adulthood and the woman he loves.
"Family Guy" creator MacFarlane will make his directorial debut with the R-rated, live-action project, as well as provide the voice of the CG teddy bear. He also wrote the script with "Family Guy" writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild.
MacFarlane's "Family Guy" co-star Mila Kunis has been mentioned as a possibility to play Wahlberg's love interest, but the actress is expected to see an influx of movie offers thanks to her eye-opening performance in Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan," so she may not be available.
Universal acquired the $65 million project in April, and MRC, will produce with MacFarlane and his manager John Jacobs, as well as Scott Stuber, whose company Stuber Pictures is based at Universal.
Wahlberg has been earning awards buzz for his performance as Boston-bred boxer 'Irish' Mickey Ward in David O. Russell's drama "The Fighter." He next stars opposite Kate Beckinsale in Universal's thriller "Contraband," a remake of the 2008 Icelandic crime drama "Reykjavic-Rotterdam" that will be directed by the original filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur. He plans to follow that film with "Ted," as WME and Leverage are currently negotiating his deal.
He also recently starred in the comedies "The Other Guys" and "Date Night," and he is currently weighing an offer to star in Relativity's remake of "The Crow."
His involvement with the project was first reported by Pajiba.