BREAKING: In a mid-six figure deal, Universal has acquired The Disciple Program, a spec script by first time screenwriter Tyler Marceca, in a package that has Mark Wahlberg starring and producing with Stephen Levinson. Morton Tyldum, who recently helmed Headhunters, is attached to direct. The spec is described as a Manchurian Candidate-style thriller in which a man’s wife dies and he discovers that it was no accident and investigates the murder. Multiple bidders chased the script.

Marceca got on the Hollywood radar quickly with his first script. He entered it in a screenwriting competition months ago, and the script got spread around Hollywood and producers and studios liked what they saw. He got hundreds of phone calls, but had no representation. He met around and signed with WME, Anonymous Content and attorney David Fox. They pulled back the script so that it could be honed and so that the agency could package talent around it.

Universal made the hit Contraband with Wahlberg starring and Levinson producing, and now the studio has another project with the star. Universal is also releasing Ted, the Seth MacFarlane-directed comedy that stars Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, for July 13 release.