Mark Wahlberg Is Making A Movie About Jack LaLanne, The Father Of Fitness

Mark Wahlberg is working on two projects about the life and legacy of fitness guru Jack LaLanne.

By Lyndon Nicholas | Published

Action movie stars like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Arnold Schwarzenegger are known for keeping in tip-top condition. Many of the methods that actors and others use to stay in shape are actually relatively recent discoveries, many of which were popularized by the fitness legend Jack LaLanne. Now, according to an article from the Hollywood Reporter, Instant Family actor Mark Wahlberg is set to make a movie about the fitness icon, honoring Jack LaLanne’s complicated life and legacy.

When actor Mark Wahlberg and his production company Unrealistic Ideas first approached Jack LaLanne’s widow Elaine “LaLa” LaLanne, she thought they were “the right ones to bring Jack’s legacy forward” and noted that she “recognized the parallels between Jack and Mark.” In collaboration with the LaLanne family and Wonderfilm production, and with access to “thousands of hours of archival material,” president of Unrealistic Ideas Archie Gips hopes that the projects will “tell the authentic, deeply personal, and definitive story of Jack LaLanne.“

Wonderfilm’s Jeff Bowler and Bret Saxon are working in conjunction with Mark Wahlberg. They noted that Jack LaLanne’s story was “inspiring” and that he “exemplifies the triumphs of the human spirit when driven and focused.” They then added that there is “so much more” about LaLanne that many people don’t know and that they hope to explore in the upcoming projects.

Mark Wahlberg and the two media companies will put out two projects about Jack LaLanne, one a narrative film and one a documentary. LaLanne, who passed away in 2011 at the age of 96, was a fitness expert and personality often credited with opening the nation’s first fitness club in Oakland in the 1930s. He later became the host of his own fitness TV show, The Jack LaLanne Show, for over 30 years, from 1951 to 1985.

Jack LaLanne used his platform to spread his knowledge about personal health, bodybuilding, and fitness. He is known for some incredible feats, some of which are absolutely unbelievable. Some of these feats include swimming handcuffed from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco at 41, setting a world record of 1,033 pushups in 23 minutes at age 42, and miraculously towing 70 boats 1.5 miles in Long Beach harbor while shackled and handcuffed at 70 years old.

Jack LaLanne in 1961

Although Mark Wahlberg may not be able to boast some of the same physical feats as Jack LaLanne, he has had some fairly impressive physical and acting feats throughout his career. Wahlberg is known by many for his role in action dramas, including Patriot’s Day and Uncharted

One of Mark Wahlberg’s most notable films that showcase his bodybuilding and generally high levels of fitness is the boxing drama The Fighter, where he starred alongside Amy Adams and Christian Bale. For that film, Wahlberg used a Jack LaLanne-esque fitness plan in order to get into fighting shape to portray Boston boxer Mickey Ward.

Mark Wahlberg and Jack LaLanne each had similar paths to changing their lives around through fitness. For LaLanne, it was a lecture from health food guru Paul Bragg that caused him to pursue fitness and bodybuilding. For Wahlberg, his fit physique in the 1990 music video for the single “Good Vibrations” led to a series of underwear ads for Calvin Klein in 1992, which launched his subsequent acting career. 

Many fans are excited to see Mark Wahlberg taking an interest in Jack LaLanne’s story. He was undoubtedly one of the most influential figures in the fitness world, and his impact is still felt even so many years later.