Mark Wahlberg is in negotiations to play the lead role in the big-screen adaptation of Max Payne.

John Moore, whose previous credits include Behind Enemy Lines and Flight of the Phoenix, will direct the movie, which is scheduled to begin in early 2008. The story will focus on loose cannon, cop-on-the-edge Payne, who fights to protect the streets of his city while struggling with the tragic and haunting loss of his family. Julie Yorn and Scott Faye will be handling production duties for Firm Films.

Developed by Remedy Entertainment and released in 2001, Max Payne is regarded as one of the earliest implementations of bullet time in videogames. The game was popular both for its third-person shooter action and its anguished and heavy-handed noir styling, and spawned a 2003 sequel, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. Despite critical acclaim and the success of the first title, the follow-up release failed to generate comparable sales.

Wahlberg, a rapper better known by his Marky Mark moniker, has experienced considerable success in the music industry as head of the Funky Bunch, and has also dabbled in underwear modeling.

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