Mark Wahlberg Came Mighty Close to Making a ‘The Departed’ Sequel With Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro: 5 Reasons It’d Have Been a Disaster

Mark Wahlberg was determined to get the train of The Departed 2 running.

Mark Wahlberg Came Mighty Close to Making a ‘The Departed’ Sequel With Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro: 5 Reasons It’d Have Been a Disaster

SUMMARY

  • Martin Scorsese's The Departed finally earned the acclaimed director the Oscar for Best Director.
  • While Scorsese wanted it to be a one-off thing from the get-go, Mark Wahlberg had other ideas.
  • But despite pushing the idea for The Departed 2, Wahlberg's plan never materialized.
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After a decades-long wait, it was 2006’s The Departed that earned Martin Scorsese his first Oscar win for Best Director, presented by the iconic trio of Coppola, Spielberg, and Lucas. Apart from Scorsese’s deserved victory, the thriller, based on the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs, further swooped four accolades in the 79th Academy Award, including Best Picture.

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But while Scorsese intended it to be a one-off thing, Mark Wahlberg, who starred as Sergeant Dignam, had ideas about continuing the story with a sequel, starring Brad Pitt and Robert De Niro.

Mark Wahlberg Once Pitched WB About Greenlighting The Departed 2

The Departed | Warner Bros. Pictures
The Departed | Warner Bros.

With Mark Wahlberg‘s character being the only one to make it out alive among the main cast, for a while, the actor insisted on getting the train on a potential sequel running. With writer William Monahan and the Pain & Gain star on the same page, Wahlberg revealed he had plans of incorporating Brad Pitt and even Robert De Niro in the sequel.

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Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg | The Departed (via Warner Bros.)

However, Wahlberg and Monahan botched the pitch for the sequel, as they headed to WB execs with no script in hand, thus the studio rejected the idea for the sequel.

Stopping by KFC radio, he said (via The Digital Fix):

“He [Monahan] assumed the studio would have the same response that everyone else did and let him go figure it out. But they like to have things well-thought out and planned, so that pitch didn’t go well,”

In hindsight, not moving forward with the sequel seems the right call on WB’s part for several reasons

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No Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese | Via GQ/YT

Initially, WB itself leaned towards turning The Departed into a franchise, which Martin Scorsese was against, and his decision to kill off the majority of the characters didn’t sit right with the studio. So, it’s safe to say a potential sequel would’ve moved forward without the original director on board.

Collin Sulivan Is Dead

Matt Damon in the Departed
Matt Damon | The Departed (via Warner Bros.)

While on paper, a sequel seems right,  as Internal Affairs was a trilogy in the Hong Kong version, the sequel revolves around the crooked police and expands on his inner conflict. But in Scorsese’s adaptation, Matt Damon’s Collin Sulivan ends up dying, thus closing that possibility.

Most of the Main Cast Is Dead

Martin Scorsese on the sets of The Departed
Behind the scenes | The Departed (via Warner Bros.)

One of the film’s biggest highlights is witnessing the star-studded cast bouncing off each other and delivering impeccable performances, including DiCaprio, Damon, and Jack Nicholson. However, with most of their characters meeting end, a sequel might’ve failed to incorporate the same magic as the original.

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It’s Too Late

The Departed
The Departed | Warner Bros.

Considering it has been almost two decades since the film was released, it’s safe to say that a major chunk of today’s audience might not even be aware of the original’s story. Following this, there’s a high chance a sequel to The Departed might not be able to do sufficient numbers if released.

Chances of Tainting the Original’s Legacy

THE DEPARTED, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, 2006, (c) Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection
The Departed | Warner Bros.

Monahan’s idea for the sequel involved bringing back some of the actors, who bit the dust in the original. While it’s reasonable to see why they would want the original faces from the first film back, undoing the deaths of certain characters would have only diluted the impact of the first film.

Considering Scorsese saw the film as a one-off thing from the get-go and had no intentions of giving into the studio’s desire to make room for a franchise, The Departed is better left alone.

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The Departed is available to stream on Apple TV.

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Written by Santanu Roy

Articles Published: 1530

Santanu Roy is a film enthusiast with a deep love for the medium of animation while also being obsessed with The Everly Brothers, Billy Joel, and The Platters. Having expertise in everything related to Batman, Santanu spends most of his time watching and learning films, with Martin Scorsese and Park Chan-wook being his personal favorites. Apart from pursuing a degree in animation, he also possesses a deep fondness for narrative-driven games and is currently a writer at Fandomwire with over 1500 articles.