Native Donnie Wahlberg joins 'The Zookeeper' cast

Dorchester homeboy and NKOTB trailblazer Donnie Wahlberg has joined the made-in-Boston flick "The Zookeeper," starring Kevin James and Rosario Dawson.

Wahlberg spilled the news via Twitter here: "For those wondering what my wardrobe session was all about yesterday," he writes. "Now ya know ... I'm doing the movie 'Zookeeper' with Kevin James and Rosario Dawson."

Primary filming of "The Zookeeper" kicked off Monday, July 20 at the Franklin Park Zoo's elaborate mini-zoo set near the Giraffe Entrance of the park located at 1 Franklin Park Rd.

Slotted to film during regular park hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the next few weeks, "The Zookeeper" set resembled a Hollywood-style movie lot swarming with production staff on golf carts and lighting rigs peering behind off-limits structures built for filming purposes only.

"The Zookeeper" follows James as a zoo caretaker who consults with the animals in an attempt to learn their methods of dating and mating to help him win back the woman of his dreams.

Adam Sandler, Cher, Jon Favreau, Sylvester Stallone and Judd Apatow have signed on as animal voices. The five reportedly will voice animals at the zoo where keeper James longs for his female love interest played by Dawson. Sandler will be the voice of a capuchin monkey while Cher is slotted to be a giraffe. Favreau has been cast as a bear, Stallone as a lion and Apatow as an elephant.

In addition to "The Zookeeper," Wahlberg is waiting to get a greenlight for "Bunker Hill," the made-in-Charlestown TV pilot for TNT where he plays Mike Moriarty, a Boston cop determined to protect the streets he grew up on from crime and corruption.

The Dorchester native adds, "Here is the beauty of going 24 hours a day--a movie, a TV series, exec producing Jimmy Marsh, making more music w/ The Block. NO SWEAT!"


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