First Look at Mark Wahlberg as a Boxer-Turned-Priest in 'Father Stu' (Exclusive)

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Father Stu
Sony Pictures Releasing

Mark Wahlberg is bringing another real-life story to the screen. After biographical films like Joe Bell, Lone Survivor and Patriots Day, the actor is portraying Father Stuart Long in the upcoming drama Father Stu. And only ET has the exclusive first look at Wahlberg as the boxer-turned-priest. 

According to Sony Pictures Releasing, which is distributing the upcoming faith-based movie written and directed by Rosalind Ross, “God needed a fighter, and he found one” in Father Stuart. The images show Wahlberg as Stuart -- both before and after his transformation -- as Father Stu depicts the inspiring journey from self-destruction to redemption and finding one’s purpose through God. 

Father Stu
Sony Pictures Releasing
Father Stu
Sony Pictures Releasing

Ahead of its April release, Wahlberg drew attention for the film when he revealed the intense diet he consumed for several weeks in order to transform into the former athlete. “I had to consume, for two weeks, 7,000 calories, and then for another two weeks, 11,000 calories," Wahlberg recently told Jimmy Fallon. 

He added, “It's such a hard, physical thing to do.” 

Rounding out the cast is Jacki Weaver and Narcos star Teresa Ruiz as well as Mel Gibson, who reunites with Wahlberg after the two worked together in the 2017 comedy Daddy’s Home 2

“It’s a story about a guy who’s a boxer and he’s kinda a wild boy. You know, a few things happen to him along the way and he sort of changes his course,” Gibson told ET, adding, “It’s a fun ride.” 

Sony Pictures Releasing
Sony Pictures Releasing
Father Stu
Sony Pictures Releasing

In addition to the onscreen reunion, the film also marks the first time Gibson was directed by Ross, who he’s been in a relationship with since 2014. “She’s really talented,” Gibson said. “It was her first time in the driver seat… She did it with great aplomb.” 

“Rosey has done an incredible job capturing the essence of who he was and how he affected the people he met. I hope that with this film, we keep his spirit alive and continue his good works,” Wahlberg said in a statement when the film was first picked up.


Father Stu is produced by Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Jordon Foss and executive produced by Miky Lee, Colleen Camp, Patrick Peach and Tony Grazia.  It will be released in theaters on Good Friday, April 15, 2022.  

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