Mark Wahlberg’s major new movie looks to be filming on the Northern Beaches, with a huge production crew spotted in local bushland this week. It’s one of many Hollywood films to come all the way to Australia to use the beautiful Beaches as a backdrop.

We literally stumbled onto a massive movie set yesterday whilst out enjoying a bushwalk. The amount of trucks (and security) indicated this was more than a local Home & Away shoot, and one of the crew kindly informed us it was for the new Mark Wahlberg movie, Play Dirty. If so, it’s the fourth recent blockbuster to be filmed locally, so it seems the Northern Beaches really is the new hot spot for Hollywood films.

As we’ve reported over the last year, Sean Penn’s all-star movie C*A*U*G*H*T had scenes filmed in Terrey Hills, Ryan Gosling’s The Fall Guy filmed in Ocean St in Narrabeen, and the surprise hit at the box office this summer, Anyone But You, was filmed in Palm Beach and Terrey Hills. 

It’s really no surprise that US production companies are heading this way with the incredible backdrops available, large swathes of bushland in which to hide dozens of film trucks (and keep filming locations under wraps), and lots of incentives and assistance from the Government.

The entire Sydney Harbour Bridge was shut down to assist filming of The Fall Guy. And Anyone But You director Will Gluck said that the Australian film industry ” bent over backwards to help”. The film also received the Commonwealth Location Incentive from The Australian Government and funding from the NSW Government.

What a coup for our local area as well with money injected into local businesses and so many jobs created.

“We used a great local crew,” recalls Gluck. “We also decided to do all our visual effects in New South Wales because some of the greatest VFX artists happen to be working in Sydney.”

If the amount of film trucks were anything to go by, Play Dirty is another major production that will be injecting a lot of funds into the local area – as well as showcasing it for the world to see. confirms that Play Dirty is being filmed in Sydney, and that it stars Mark Wahlberg, Dermot Mulroney, Rosa Salazar, and LaKeith Standfield. It’s being directed by Shane Black, who’s known for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Play Dirty “stars Wahlberg as a hardened professional thief who is double-crossed and left for dead. His hunt for revenge, however, brings with it a shot at the biggest heist of his career.”

There have been a few sightings of Mark since he recently arrived in Sydney. He stopped by his Wahlbergers venue in Macquarie St last week to surprise diners (but has yet to visit the Manly Wahlbergers). He sent prayers to fans via his Instagram from St Mary’s Cathedral in the city, and he has also played a round of golf at an unidentified waterside course (which looks like Long Reef but it’s hard to see past his abs).

Mark has another local connection in Roy Rocco Mustaca who, along with his son Sam Mustaca, have a business partnership with the Wahlberg family. “The Wahlbergs signed a deal worth $50 million to partner with the United Cinemas chain, which is owned by the Mustaca family,” reported at the time.

Roy is well known on the Northern Beaches as the flamboyant owner of the United Cinemas empire. He’s often spotted with celebrities and is also known for singing, having recorded several albums and the well-known song ‘God Kill The Coronavirus’, which he released during the pandemic.


It was reported when Wahlbergers opened in Manly, that another Wahlbergers would open in Terrey Hills on land owned by the Mustaca family, and there are also plans to add a Wahlbergers next to the United Cinemas at Warriewood, as well as 14 others inside or next to United cinemas.

Mark has also stated in past interviews he’d love to live in Australia – and if he’s currently spending time on the Beaches, it’s likely to seal the deal.

There’s no release date as yet for Play Dirty, but we’ll look forward to seeing the Northern Beaches shine in yet another Hollywood blockbuster.

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