Justin Bieber ‘Really Can Act,’ Mark Wahlberg Says

For upcoming basketball movie, Wahlberg tells MTV News he'll push Bieber to get a 'strong performance out of him.'

Clearly, Justin Bieber has a lot going on with the release of his new album Believe, Tuesday’s live MTV News special and planning a world tour, but that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten about fostering his movie career.

Both Mark Wahlberg and Bieber have spoken positively about their planned buddy basketball movie. Wahlberg has said it will be in the vein of the Martin Scorsese-directed “The Color of Money,” starring Tom Cruise and Paul Newman, except with Wahlberg playing the older reluctant mentor and Bieber playing a “wisecracking kid who’s very talented.”

“It’s set in [the world of] street hustling basketball,” Wahlberg told MTV News recently while he promoted his upcoming comedy “Ted.” “Obviously, [Bieber] is a very good athlete. People have seen him on MTV ; he can play. But I also really think he can act.”

Wahlberg said he’s willing to put in the work in order to get a great performance from the young pop star/ aspiring actor.

“There’s not going to be any shortage of pushing him in getting that kind of strong performance out of him, if we get to make the movie,” Wahlberg said. “We’re just going to have to make him realize that he’s playing a character so he can’t have the same hairdo,” he joked.

And is there a chance there will be any singing in the film, à la Wahlberg’s crowd-pleasing rendition of the theme from “Octopussy” in “Ted”? “Absolutely not,” he said definitively.

Wahlberg said if they can get their scheduling worked out, he hopes to start production next spring, which will give Bieber enough time to get back in the gym and “hooping.”

“I’m still working on this movie with Mark Wahlberg,” Bieber told us in May. “I don’t know what the deal is. Turns out they’re rewriting the script or something, trying to make it fit better and stuff.

“It’s really cool,” he added. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that as well soon. So, I’ll be hooping. I got to get back in the gym. I haven’t played basketball in a while. I did a little charity basketball game at Shaq’s house for Pencils of Promise. We did a little charity basketball game, and I won.”

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.