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Spenser Confidential 2 - What We Know So Far

While Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness was stealing headlines this spring, another Netflix release was quietly raking in more viewers: Spenser Confidential. Approximately 85 million households watched the Mark Wahlberg-starring action-comedy flick in its first month available on Netflix, compared to just 64 million for the wacky true crime documentary series in the same amount of time. Both were released in March 2020.

Topping Tiger King is no small feat, considering how quickly the Joe Exotic-Carole Baskin feud became a pop culture phenomenon and created a mini media frenzy. Slow and steady often wins the race, however, and therein lies Spenser Confidential's strength.

After serving time in prison for assault, ex-cop Spenser (Wahlberg) gets entangled in the double-murder of two Boston police officers — uncovering a sinister conspiracy gripping the city that led to him being framed five years earlier. With the help of his no-nonsense roommate, Hawk (Winston Duke), he embarks on a quest to take down the ring of dirty cops and drug dealers that helped put him away and have been wreaking havoc on the streets ever since.

While Netflix has not announced a sequel to Spenser Confidential yet, all signs point to the release of a part two. Here's what we know so far.

What is the plot of Spenser Confidential 2?

Although nothing has been confirmed yet, considering the success of the original Spenser Confidential — and the blatant cliffhanger ending  it seems very likely there will be a sequel.

The Netflix original film is very loosely based on Ace Atkins' novel Wonderland and the character created by Robert B. Parker, who wrote dozens of novels featuring a private detective named Spenser. The 1980s TV series Spenser: For Hire, starring Robert Urich, was also based on Parker's stories. Parker introduced the character in 1973 and churned out story after story until his death in 2010, when Atkins took over the series at the behest of Parker's estate.

The plot of Spenser Confidential 2 is likely to address that cliffhanger ending of the first film, wherein Wahlberg's character gets wind of a new mystery. Sure sounds like a setup for a franchise. 

While out to dinner with Hawk, good friend Henry (Alan Arkin), and girlfriend Cissy (Iliza Schlesinger) to celebrate cracking his first case, Spenser is drawn into a news report about the arrest of a Boston fire chief in connection with arson at a church that killed two firefighters. "It's a setup! I swear to God, I didn't do this. I need help!" the fire chief begs into the news camera. Having gone to high school with the chief, Spenser immediately questions the validity of the charge — and the gears start turning.

This story is loosely based on an Atkins novel, Slow Burn, in which Spenser and Hawk investigate a fire at a church and uncover a dangerous criminal underworld in Boston.

Who will be in the cast of Spenser Confidential 2?

Considering all of the main cast — including a couple of bad guys — are still alive at the end of Spenser Confidential, it is highly likely that the core characters will return.

In terms of continuity and audience appeal, it would be essential for Wahlberg, Duke, and Arkin to star in part two. However, it's less imperative for Schlesinger to appear again as Cissy, as it would be highly believable that Spenser moved on to a new lover. In terms of bad guys, the door is wide open for who could pick up those roles, as it's a whole new crime story. Of course, dirty cop Driscoll, played by Bokeem Woodbine (Fargo), and prison nemesis Squeeb (singer Post Malone) could both make cameos.

If Wahlberg signs on again, chancers are director Peter Berg will be with him, as Spenser Confidential marks the fifth collaboration between the two. They have previously worked together on Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day, and Mile 22. Wahlberg's own schedule is likely the biggest obstacle to overcome. In over 25 years in the business, he has appeared in just three sequels: Ted 2, Transformers: The Last Knight, and Daddy's Home 2. The actor told the Los Angeles Times, "I always like to find the next new thing to do, and I always want to do the complete opposite of the last thing I did."

That said, the sequels Wahlberg has done have all been released in the last five years, so maybe his mindset is evolving. Berg certainly seems to think so. He told the L.A. Times that he and Wahlberg have discussed a Spenser follow-up, and that both would "love to do it" if their schedules permit.

Also onboard is Duke. "I welcome the opportunity," he said. "The great thing about this group of characters is they don't back down, they don't shy away from a challenge. I think that will always lead them into more adventure..."

What is the release date of Spenser Confidential 2?

There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to getting a sequel off the ground — scheduling, scripting, shooting, you name it. Considering how many big names are involved with Spenser Confidential, navigating all the stars' respective schedules probably presents the biggest challenge at this stage. With not even a whiff of a release date yet, when might Spenser Confidential 2 see the light of day?

Right now, both Wahlberg and Berg are working on other projects. Wahlberg already has two films coming out in the summer of 2021: Infinite and Uncharted. He has also signed on to star in The Six Billion Dollar Man (via IMDb)Meanwhile, Berg is set to release Painkiller, a limited Netflix series about the opioid crisis in America, and is scheduled to direct documentaries on both Rihanna and Chris Cornell. "I'm a believer in one film at a time and see how that goes," Berg told the L.A. Times. "I do feel like [Spenser Confidential] lends itself well to a sequel, obviously given how we ended the film."

Considering how long it took to get the first film released — almost two years after its announcement — and the ongoing industry-wide shutdown as a result of COVID-19, it will be at least a few years until we finally see a sequel. Final verdict: Don't hold your breath.