What's more exciting than the news Wednesday (January 30) that the "Entourage" movie is officially a go? How about some special insider information about the once-rumored, now-greenlit project from the man who inspired it all, executive producer Mark Wahlberg?
MTV News' Josh Horowitz was lucky enough to get Wahlberg on the phone for a chat about how it finally all came together, why the hit HBO show deserves the big-screen treatment and what we should look forward to seeing when the boys hug it out onscreen again as early as next spring.
MTV News: I know we've talked the last couple years and you've always said, "This is gonna happen, this has been my mission to make this happen." How tough was it to get this greenlit?
Mark Wahlberg: [Series creator] Doug [Ellin] wanted to go off to do another show, and HBO liked the idea of doing it, but to have Doug actually have time to sit down and write the script ... I always knew the fans wanted a movie. Everywhere I'd go, people are always asking me, "What about 'Entourage'? What about 'Entourage'? When's the movie coming?" So it just took a long time. It took a long time to get it written, get it right, and we got a fantastic script. Warner Bros. is very excited about it. All the guys are excited. Getting everybody in the same place at the same time has been tough as well.
MTV: So what's the time frame? The script's done, it's got the green light, do you know when you guys shoot and when it's eyeing to release?
Wahlberg: Well, hopefully [we'll shoot in] spring. Spring or summer. May, June, depending on scheduling. But hopefully as soon as possible. And then release, I mean, either a summer movie or a fall movie, depending. But I like the summer. I like April, May [next year].
MTV: So were you reading a lot of what Doug was working on, or did you wait till he had a draft he was happy with?
Wahlberg: No, we talked about the ideas, and then it was like, "OK, go do your thing." And then the script came in, and it was long. It was a process. Getting it right, getting a nice balance of all the guys, and getting the guys back together. I always just wanted to get back to where it was just about the guys. We had a lot of strong female characters, and I love all those characters, but it really was always about the guys.
MTV: The end of the show had the guys together, but also they kind of split up in different ways. Obviously, Eric [Kevin Connolly] was having a kid, and Jeremy [Piven]'s character [Ari] was off with his wife, though I guess he was being tempted back around the studio. So can you give me a sense of where we find the characters in the movie? How much has actually happened in the intermittent years?
Wahlberg: You know what, I don't know if I can give anything away. I haven't really spoken to anybody about that particular thing. I think I can certainly get back to you about that.
MTV: OK, no worries.
Wahlberg: Because if anything, it's just another excuse to talk to my buddy.
MTV: Exactly. One step at a time. Does it feel like the script warrants a movie as opposed to, like, three or four special episodes tied together?
Wahlberg: Absolutely. I mean, we always felt like it was a movie, but we had to just make these 30-minute episodes. That was one of the one of the frustrating things. It always felt like we left the audience wanting more, which is a good thing in doing television. I think its story and its characters were a world people really missed and really enjoyed.
MTV: And you think you're going to pop in for a cameo? Are you written into the script?
Wahlberg: You know me, man. If they want me, I'm in. I'm listening in, buddy.