The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the movie industry. From forcing Disney and Marvel to delay Black Widow several times to prompting Warner Bros. to announce hybrid releases for its 2021 release schedule, the pandemic has changed the film industry in some significant ways. Now, an upcoming Mark Wahlberg sci-fi movie is skipping theaters entirely and instead landing on streaming. Looks like Wahlberg isn’t going full Kirk Cameron just yet.
Deadline brings word that Infinite, Antoine Fuqua’s forthcoming sci-fi thriller in which Mark Wahlberg is starring, will not be releasing in theaters in September as originally planned. Instead, the movie will land on the just-launched Paramount+ streaming service in June.
Infinite is based on Eric Maikranz’s book The Reincarnationist Papers, which centers around Mark Wahlberg’s character, Evan McCauley, who struggles with memories that are not his and skills he knows he does not have. Teetering on an ever-shrinking line between being marginally sane and coming completely unhinged, McCauley finds himself in the company of a secret group of people known only as “Infinites.” Eventually, they drop the bombshell that his memories are ones that have carried over from his many past lives. What follows is a high-stakes battle for the fate of humanity. As cliche and played-out as that sounds, I am totally here for it. That sounds like exactly the kind of film Wahlberg needs to be part of.
In addition to showcasing Mark Wahlberg, the film features an all-star cast that includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sophie Cookson, Jason Mantzoukas, Rupert Friend, Toby Jones, and Dylan O’Brien. Among the executive producers are Antoine Fuqua, Rafi Crohn, Brian Oliver, Bradley J. Fischer and Valerii An. Honestly, the cast alone is enough to pique my interest, but Antoine Fuqua’s direction is also likely to get me in a theater seat.
Mark Wahlberg is another big-name star with whom director Antoine Fuqua has worked. Most recently, the filmmaker helmed the Denzel Washington action films The Equalizer and The Equalizer 2. The Equalizer films are enjoyable, even if they don’t really boast the same kind of fun that characterizes the John Wick franchise. But hey, for a smaller, more contained franchise that centers around Denzel roughing up bad guys, it definitely does the trick.
Fuqua’s Mark Wahlberg-led sci-fi thriller is not the only big Paramount release to which fans can look forward. Other hotly anticipated films slated for theatrical release in 2021 include: John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place Part II (hitting theaters on May 28), the G.I. Joe spin-off Snake Eyes (July 23), Paw Patrol (August 20), Jackass (October 22), Clifford the Big Red Dog (November 5), and the very belated Top Gun: Maverick (November 19). That is an exciting schedule. It’s likely that the average moviegoer won’t care much that Wahlberg’s sci-fi flick is moving to a streaming release. As long as Top Gun: Maverick and A Quiet Place Part II get proper theatrical releases, most viewers will probably be fine.
Mark Wahlberg’s new sci-fi film is now scheduled for release on Paramount+ on June 25, 2021. Stay tuned for more updates, a trailer, etc.