Starting his career in music, Mark Wahlberg made his way to acting in 1993 with his acting debut in the TV show, The Substitute. The actor has since taken the lead in multiple films. After acting, The Fighter star also tried his luck in producing and served as the executive producer on multiple shows and films. Although he has had an impressive career in the film industry, the 51-year-old actor was furious when he missed out on a franchise that went on to be worth over $1 billion at the box office.
During his appearance on The Hollywood Reporter’s Producers Roundtable, Wahlberg opened up about how he almost fired his entire team after losing the deal for Fifty Shades Of Grey rights.
Mark Wahlberg Losing It Over Fifty Shades Of Grey Rights
Based on E. L. James’ books, the Fifty Shades film series follows the intimate relationship between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. The trilogy features Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as the lead characters, and it was a box-office hit. The franchise made over $1.3 billion at the box office.
Mark Wahlberg is certainly not the name anyone thinks of when it comes to the popular franchise. However, he did want to get his hands on the rights to the franchise. The Shooter actor had his own plans for the series, as he saw the potential in the story.
He wanted to be associated as a producer to the films. And he was not too pleased when he lost that opportunity. During his appearance on the Producers Roundtable, Wahlberg shared that he almost fired his agent over losing the film’s rights.
“I almost fired my agent, Ari,” he said before adding, “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 shared that he did not want to star in the film but wanted its rights only. And he was so close to having it.
Mark Wahlberg Wanted Brad Pitt as Christian Grey
The producer of Fifty Shades of Grey, Michael De Luca, who also joined the Producers Roundtable, joked that Christian Grey in books looks a lot like Mark Wahlberg. While the Me Time actor did not want to star in the film, he did have an actor in mind for the character.
“No, sounds like Brad Pitt to me,” he said in response to De Luca’s comment. He also mentioned the Bullet Train actor when discussing why he decided to produce movies. Wahlberg said, “I wanted to produce because I was never going to get the script first. I had to wait for Brad Pitt to pass.”
While it is still unclear what plans Mark Wahlberg had for the franchise, the film series has been pretty well off. A total of three films were released under the Fifty Shades franchise in 2015, 2017, and 2018, grossing overall $1.3 billion worldwide.
The Fifty Shades trilogy is available on Netflix.