Before Robert Downey Jr. picked the Iron Man armor in 2008 to great effect, not many stars were queuing up to make themselves available for portraying comic book characters on the big screen.
However, the trend took a sharp turn on the back of the success of Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and by the mid-2010s, an opportunity to play a Marvel character became one of the most lucrative roles in Hollywood. During this period, Downey Jr. was by far the highest-paid actor in the entertainment world. As such when rumors of Mark Wahlberg being interested in such a role emerged, not many were surprised.
Was Mark Wahlberg Interested in Doing a Marvel Movie?
Mark Wahlberg joined hands with Marvel Cinematic Universe sensation Tom Holland in the late 2010s for the filming of the thriller Uncharted for Sony Pictures, which frequently partners with Marvel Studios to deliver films based on various Marvel Comics characters and properties commonly associated with Spider-Man.
This development ended up paving the way for the rumor mill to churn out suggestions that Wahlberg – whose character Victor Sullivan recruits Holland’s Nathan Drake in Uncharted – is exploring the opportunity to join Marvel Studios’ shared universe of superheroes.
According to a rumor shared by Full Circle Cinema, Wahlberg talked to Marvel Studios about a possible superhero-focused future project.
At the time the rumor emerged, films like Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Thor: Love and Thunder were either wrapped up or were in the midst of filming, meaning there wasn’t any role left for Wahlberg in Phase 4.
Sony Pictures was developing Spider-Man: No Way Home during the period and had plans for Kraven the Hunter as well. However, Wahlberg didn’t manage to reunite with his Uncharted co-star for the adventures of the Web-Head and also lost the role of Kraven to Avengers: Age of Ultron star Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
Avengers 2 Actor to Star in Sony-Marvel Studios’ Kraven the Hunter
Kraven the Hunter will be the fourth film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe and will feature Taylor-Johnson opposite Russell Crowe.
The J. C. Chandor-directed film will focus on Sergei Kravinoff a.k.a. Kraven, a Russian immigrant, who sets out on a mission to prove himself as the greatest hunter in the world.
It is understood (via Collider) that Sony approached the likes of Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, and Adam Driver for the role before handing it to Taylor-Johnson, who portrayed Pietro Maximoff – a speedster and the twin brother of Scarlet Witch – in Avengers 2.
The movie is scheduled to hit the theaters in August of 2024.