A 'Spenser: For Hire' reboot is coming with Mark Wahlberg
Images: The Everett Collection
The title of the upcoming Netflix film Wonderland may not ring any bells, but the names of the main characters should sound familiar to any fans of 1980s television — Spenser and Hawk.
From 1985–87, Robert Urich starred as the titular detective in the ABC crime series Spenser: For Hire. As the sharp-dressed, sunglass-loving sidekick, Avery Brooks (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) eventually earned his own spin-off, 1989's A Man Called Hawk. The two shows were based on characters from a best-selling mystery series by author Robert B. Parker, which kicked off in 1973 in the novel The Godwulf Manuscript. In the noir novels, Spenser is a Korean War vet and former state trooper working as a P.I.
The show performed well in the ratings at the time, though the network constantly fiddled with its time slot. The action-drama lasted just three seasons, mostly due to the fact that it was shot on location in Boston at a greater cost than most L.A. productions.
That Boston connection likely explains the property's lure to Mark Wahlberg, the A-lister who loves to film in his hometown. Wonderland, due later this year on the Netflix streaming service, reteams the actor with director Peter Berg, who has helmed several recent Wahlberg movies, including Mile 22, Patriots Day, Deepwater Horizon and Lone Survivor. In the television world, Berg is perhaps best known as the creative force behind Friday Night Lights.
With Wahlberg on tap to play Spenser, your immediate question is going to be, "Who is Hawk?" Well, that stylish role is being filled by Winston Duke (Us, Black Panther). The rest of the cast includes everyone from Alan Arkin to Post Malone and Marc Maron.
The brief plot description says, "Just out of prison and investigating a twisted murder, Spenser is sucked back into Boston's underbelly." Look for it soon.