Despite Being the Son of a Korean War Veteran, Mark Wahlberg Was Almost Replaced by Keanu Reeves in $95M Cult-Hit Thriller

Despite Being the Son of a Korean War Veteran, Mark Wahlberg Was Almost Replaced by Keanu Reeves in $95M Cult-Hit Thriller
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The Shooter is one of the significant movies in the career of Mark Wahlberg. The Ted fame has been a part of many action thrillers and the 2007 movie is a major name among it. But interestingly, Wahlberg almost lost the movie to another significant action star- Keanu Reeves. The Shooter focuses on the story of a Force Recon Marine Scout Sniper veteran, Bob Lee Swagger.

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Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg

Although Mark Wahlberg was ultimately spotted in the final cut of the movie, it is surprising that the actor was not the first choice despite having a military past. The 51-year-old actor’s father, Donald Edmond Wahlberg Sr. was a U.S. Army veteran.

Also Read: “I’ve never been asked”: Mark Wahlberg Wanted to Steal Iconic Role from Robert Downey Jr in $29 Billion Franchise

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Mark Wahlberg was not the first choice for the role of Bob Lee Swagger

The Transformers: Age of Extinction actor portrayed the role of a sniper veteran Bob Lee Swagger in the 2007 movie, starring alongside Michael Peña, Danny Glover, and Kate Mara. Swagger is one of the primary characters in the novels by Stephen Hunter and the movie is based on his 1993 novel, Point of Impact. 

Mark Wahlberg in SHooter
Mark Wahlberg in Shooter

The character of Bob Lee Swagger is also inspired by a real-life U.S. Marine Corps Scout Sniper, Carlos Hathcock. As stated by the scriptwriter William Goldman, the role was passed on by Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, and Harrison Ford, who were more accurate to the source material than Mark Wahlberg.

Keanu Reeves as John Wick
Keanu Reeves as John Wick

On the other hand, the John Wick fame was also another competition on the path of Mark Wahlberg. According to sources, Keanu Reeves was the original choice to play Bob Lee Swagger. But ultimately after the father of 4 starred in the movie, it grossed a good figure of $95.7 million on a budget of $61 million. The Shooter received mixed reviews from the critics but it was praised as a quite enjoyable flick. A 2016 TV series with the same name based on the movie was also released, which ran for 3 seasons.

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Also Read: “I was like, ‘Holy s**t'”: Mark Wahlberg Went Nuclear after Rejecting $2.26 Billion Franchise That Launched Chris Pine

Mark Wahlberg is reuniting with Mel Gibson in his upcoming movie

Mel Gibson with Mark Wahlberg
Mel Gibson and Mark Wahlberg

Mel Gibson was last seen directing the critically acclaimed 2016 hit Hacksaw Ridge starring Andrew Garfield in the lead role. The Oscar-winning movie maintained Gibson’s streak of critically acclaimed box office hits.

Now according to reports by Deadline, the Father Stu co-stars are reuniting with Mel Gibson as the director and Mark Wahlberg in the lead. The movie titled Flight Risk will feature the Ted star in the role of a pilot given the task of transporting a dangerous criminal. The director-actor duo has been seen together in several projects in the past, such as Father Stu and the Daddy’s Home franchise. Speaking about the duo, the global distributor, Lionsgate movie’s chairman, Joe Drake said:

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“We love the undeniable electric pairing of Mel Gibson and Mark Wahlberg. These world-class talents combining for this dynamic, character-driven film will make Flight Risk one of the most suspense-filled, must-see events of the year.”

Also Read: “I put millions and millions of dollars”: Mark Wahlberg Doesn’t Regret Spending Insane Money Because of Mel Gibson in His $350 Million Project

Lionsgate also distributed Mel Gibson’s last directorial, Hacksaw Ridge, which received six Oscar nominations, receiving two awards out of them. Looking at Gibson’s track record, it can be hoped that the movie might turn out to be another major hit in the Apocalypto director’s career.

The Shooter can be rented on Apple TV+.

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Source: IMDb/Deadline

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Written by Subham Mandal

Articles Published: 1075

Subham Mandal is currently working as a content writer for FandomWire with an ardent interest in the world of pop culture. He has written more than 1000 articles on different spheres of modern pop culture and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He’s also an experienced student journalist having demonstrated work experience with the Times of India. He aspires to be a column writer in the future.