Justin Bieber Might Make Feature Debut with Mark Wahlberg in Basketball Drama

bieberball300.jpgDeadline reports that pop phenom Justin Bieber, who showed off his acting chops on the small screen on CSI, may make his feature debut in a basketball drama to co-star and be produced by Mark Wahlberg. And how did the idea come about in the first place? Well, never say never nothing ever came from the tried and true legacy of Rock 'n' Jock-style celebrity sporting events.

Wahlberg and co-producer Stephen Levinson were apparently so taken by Bieber's skills on the court during a recent celebrity hoops game that they came up with an idea described as "The Color of Money meets The Karate Kid" involving street ball. The two tapped How to Make it in America scribe Ian Edelman to pen a script and Bieber's manager Scooter Braun will also produce.

Vulture earlier today reported briefly catching Wahlberg on a red carpet, where he reluctantly let loose a few details of the project, saying that the story is "kind of like a reluctant mentor in an inner-city environment" set-up. Bieber's role looks to be a solid dramatic first leap in his career transition out of pre-teen entertainment and into adult roles, the next calculated step in his maturing career (besides possibly starring as a young Ashton Kutcher in a film comedy that may or may not go first).

When Movieline spoke with Never Say Never director Jon M. Chu about his work with the now-17-year-old, Chu acknowledged the transition period the young performer is currently navigating. So the basketball drama sounds kind of perfect, in a way; if anyone can fill that sort of mentor role on-screen and off as Bieber transitions from pop musician to serious actor, it's the artist formerly known as Marky Mark.

· Justin Bieber Plans Street Hoops Film With Mark Wahlberg [Deadline]