You may have thought Scarlett Johansson’s legal clash with Disney was the end of the wars between studios and talent over direct-to-streaming releases, but apparently, it isn’t even the tip of the Wahlberg. As in it is now Mark Wahlberg who’s reportedly furious over the release of 2021’s Infinite.
A month before it hit the streaming service, ViacomCBS announced Infinite would be available on Paramount+ in June and would skip movie theaters entirely. While the Mark Wahlberg-led flick was initially believed to drop on Paramount+ toward the end of June, Deadline later reported it would land on the streaming service on Thursday, June 10.
Later in May, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that it wasn’t just audiences who were only given a month’s notice about Infinite‘s direct-to-streaming release, but the people who made the movie as well. According to THR, Mark Wahlberg, Infinite‘s director Antoine Fuqua, and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura only found out when Deadline broke the news on May 6. THR added that some of the film’s production team were told the day before that the move to Paramount+ was possible, but was never confirmed.
While the THR story didn’t go into how Mark Wahlberg felt about getting the direct-to-streaming news late, we now know a little bit more thanks to Deadline’s Justin Kroll. On Thursday, in the wake of the Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney over the release of Black Widow, Kroll tweeted that — like Denzel Washington angry over The Little Things being released on HBO Max — Wahlberg was predictably “not happy” about being blindsided with the news of Infinite going straight to Paramount+.
While Kroll didn’t go into detail about any actions Mark Wahlberg might be mulling over, the implication seems to be that Johansson’s move against Disney could prove to be the pebble that starts the avalanche. We might already be seeing some more rocks follow. The day after Johansson filed suit against Disney, per Variety, Gerard Butler brought suit against Nu Image/Millennium Films for $10 million the actor is allegedly owed from backend compensation for the 2013 action film Olympus Has Fallen.
We’ll have to wait and see if Wahlberg takes similar action concerning the release of Infinite. In the meantime, the movie is available for streaming on Paramount+. Based on the novel The Reincarnationist Papers by D. Eric Maikranz, Infinite stars Mark Wahlberg as Evan McCauley, a man suffering strange visions and proving to have skills he can’t remember learning. McCauley eventually learns he is one of the Infinites — a group of around 500 people in the world capable of remembering all of their past lives, including all of the combat skills he acquired during those lives.
The Infinites are split into the Believers, who appreciate their multi-life sight as a gift to help make the world a better place. Opposing them are the Nihilists, who believe the sight is a curse. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Bathurst, the leader of the Nihilists and McCauley’s main antagonist throughout the film. The sci-fi action thriller released to pretty dismal reviews, currently enjoying an embarrassing 15% on Rotten Tomatoes.