Mark Wahlberg’s New Docuseries Is in Direct Competition With Netflix: What to Know

by Taylor Cunningham

It seems that Netflix is aiming to compete with Mark Wahlberg’s upcoming docuseries that follows the story of the infamous drug lord Owen Hanson.

On July 6th, the Father Stu star announced plans for his project with the backing of Unrealistic Ideas studios. In it, he explains how Hanson went from being a low-income USC football player to becoming the leader of a worldwide cocaine empire.

“This is a working-class guy who worked hard to get into USC and then used the business skills he gained through his education there to create a global drug empire,” said Unrealistic Ideas President Archie Gips. “We’re looking to explore how that happened and how it all fell apart.”

Today (July 10), Netflix shared that it has a similar project on the horizon.

According to Deadline, the struggling streamer has already started production on a separate Owen Hanson docuseries. In that version, the creators are working with the federal agents who ultimately brought down the crime boss. Documentary Contractor John Turner is leading the project. He was behind the crime series Why Did You Kill Me? and Dirty Money. Joining him will be Cheer producer Greg Whiteley.

In the unnamed series, viewers will get to follow the story by listening to recordings from the Phantom Secure phone that helped close the case.

The Man Behind the Netflix Docuseries is Currently Serving 21 Years in Federal Prison

Owen Hanson began his illicit career by selling recreational drugs and steroids to his USC teammates in the early 2000s. After becoming a successful small-time dealer he moved on to create a massive and violent empire that led to a high-profile FBI take down.

In the end, Hanson was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison. The judge also ordered him to hand over a $5 million criminal forfeiture.

It was a professional gambler named R.J. Cipriani who helped the Feds pin the crimes on Owen Hanson. Cipriani borrowed $2.5 million from Hanson to gamble in Vegas. However, he lost the entire sum on a blackjack table. Because of that, Hanson began threatening Cipriani’s life. And to prove he was serious, he sent photos of the gambler’s wife along with all of her personal information. To top it off, he included a video of a beheading to explain what would happen in Cipriani didn’t repay his debt.

The Phantom Secure was a high-tech phone that Vincent Ramos created to aid criminal dealings around the globe. It came into play when Hanson bought several and unwittingly handed one to an undercover FBI agent.

Deadline reports that Cipriani will not partner with the Netflix or Wahlberg docuseries.