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

"I was like, 'Holy s**t'": Mark Wahlberg Went Nuclear after Rejecting $2.26 Billion Franchise That Launched Chris Pine
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Mark Wahlberg is undeniably one of the most successful actors in the industry working today. He has appeared in multiple genres as a leading man including comedy, drama, and also made his name in the action genre. Wahlberg started his journey in the entertainment industry from being a member of the music group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, which released the albums Music for the People in 1991 and You Gotta Believe in 1992.

Mark Wahlberg at the SAG awards
Mark Wahlberg at the SAG awards

Following his big screen debut in Penny Marshall’s Renaissance Man in 1994, Wahlberg appeared in several successful movies including Max Payne, Pain & Gain, Shooter, Deepwater Horizon, 2 Guns, Lone Survivor, and The Transformers franchise. But The Italian Job and Ted franchise are recognized as his most successful movies.

Further, he has worked with many prominent directors in Hollywood. He appeared in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights, portraying a porn actor Dirk Diggler, for which he received immense critical appraisal in his early days. He also appeared in Martin Scorsese’s  The Departed starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson.


Also read: Mark Wahlberg Reportedly Charged $40M after First Movie in $4.84B Franchise Made More Than a Billion Dollars, Left the Series When Sequel Couldn’t Even Reach Half That Amount

Mark Wahlberg Regreted Losing the $2.26 Billion Franchise

Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg

Notable director J.J. Abrams approached Mark Wahlberg for the 2009 sci-fi action movie Star Trek. But the Ted actor turned down the film stating the reason for refusal was that he could not understand the script. The movie made $385 million at the box office, despite Wahlberg’s lack of interest.

“I remember (Abrams) asking me to play Captain Kirk’s father in Star Trek, and I tried to read the script, and I just couldn’t even… I didn’t understand the words or the dialogue or anything. I said, ‘I couldn’t do this. I think you’re really talented, but I couldn’t do it.’ Then I saw the movie, I was like, ‘Holy s**t. He did a great job,” the actor said.

He later regretted rejecting Abram’s movie saying he would never pass on any other opportunities like that. 


“I probably wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to work with J.J. again, so if he wanted me to do something that I couldn’t fully understand, I would probably give it a shot,” he added.

Later, the role was played by Chris Pine. The franchise is currently worth $2.26 billion, totaling later installments.

Reportedly, the actor also rejected Pride and Glory, S.W.A.T., The Black Dahlia, and Infamous. Fortunately for him, some of these films did not do well. However, he also missed the chance to appear in Ang Lee’s acclaimed Brokeback Mountain and Ron Howard’s award-winning film Cinderella Man.

Also read: After Making a Whopping $57M, Mark Wahlberg Promised to Return to Iconic Franchise Under 1 Condition


Further, he was approached for the evergreen classic Donnie Darko, directed by Richard Kelly. But he was turning thirty by the time of its release, and it’d be odd seeing him playing the titular high schooler. The movie was a box office flop, but it turned out to be a classic, later gaining global attention.

Mark Wahlberg Almost Fired His Agent After Losing Fifty Shades Of Grey

Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg could foresee the potential of Fifty Shades of Grey. As per many reports, the actor wanted to lead the film but lost. However, aside from acting, he wanted to produce the film as well. That too, did not turn in his favor. The actor admitted that he almost fired his agent over losing the movie.

“I almost fired my agent Ari [Emanuel] over [Fifty Shades]—not because I wanted to play the part. We were aware of the book from very early on, and we were close to securing the rights, and then we get into this bidding war,” he said.

“We were so close to having [it]. That was one of the few times I was going to fire Ari,” he revealed in one of The Hollywood Reporter’s Producers Roundtable segment.


Similar to his rejection of the Star Trek franchise, which later hit the billion-dollar club, Fifty Shades trilogy also hit $1.3 billion at the box office. Unfortunately, Wahlberg could not be a part of either franchise.

Also read: “Would definitely support it”: Mark Wahlberg “Was Always Sad” to See the Show That Made His $400M Career End, Hints Revival of Hit Series

The latter franchise was adapted from the Fifty Shades novels, authored by E.L. James, who innocently came up with the billion-dollar idea sitting on the sofa. 


“I just sat on my sofa and just read them and read them and read them. I was inspired by [‘Twilight’ author] Stephenie Meyer … she just kind of flipped this switch in my head,” James tells Insider.

“It was one of tens of thousands, really hundreds of thousands, of stories written by this vast community of women who were inspired to write and share stories by Twilight,” she added.

Undeniably, both franchises imprinted a great deal of regret in Wahlberg’s acting career. The actor last appeared in Rosalind Ross’ 2022 drama, Father Stu.

Source: The Things


Written by Lachit Roy

Articles Published: 986

Lachit Roy is a seasoned writer specializing in science and entertainment news. Armed with a postgraduate degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Tezpur University, he brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to his craft.

Lachit is particularly passionate about crafting engaging content on entertainment news and trends. A dedicated movie enthusiast, he possesses an in-depth understanding of the cinematic world and takes joy in disseminating the latest updates to the global fandom. When not immersed in writing, Lachit can be found indulging in his love for movies and series, occasionally tending to his garden, but predominantly expanding his expertise in the realms of his interests.