While Tom Berenger continues to take potshots at the back rack with the apparently unending Sniper series, busy Beantown boy Mark Wahlberg is grabbing a high-powered rifle for his own deadeye series.

Wahlberg is starring in Shooter, the long-in-development adaptation of Stephen Hunter’s book Point of Impact.  The story revolves around Bob Lee Swagger, a legendary marksman who gets lured out of self-imposed retirement only to find himself in the middle of an assassination conspiracy, complete with car chases and multiple shootings. Director Antoine Fuqua, who’s been bouncing from different projects since King Arthur sucked, is spotting the targets for Paramount.  

I dig Hunter’s pulpy thrillers, which skew a little closer to the likes of Dashiell Hammett than Tom Clancy’s impenetrable technoprose, but someone more along the lines of Robert DeNiro or Tommy Lee Jones better fits the character, originally written as a Vietnam vet (Robert Redford and Keanu Reeves have previously been attached to the role). Wahlberg would probably be good as Swagger’s FBI sidekick Nick Memphis, but at least he can do hard-boiled (hey, I enjoyed the hell out of Four Brothers). Besides, it looks like they’re pretty much ditching that background — he’ll probably be a hardened Gulf War vet or some bullshit, and Wahlberg did already serve there in Three Kings.