Mark Wahlberg Wants to Play ‘Iron Man’ After Robert Downey Jr. Retires

Published 2 years ago by

It’s not easy being a superhero. And, as this summer’s billion-dollar-grossing Iron Man 3 proved, the more existential crises a hero faces during the course of the story, the more audiences will flock to the theater. Hot on the heels of that movie’s wild success, Marvel faced some serious challenges in signing Robert Downey Jr. to play Tony Stark/Iron Man beyond the “Phase 2″ films.

Downey has publicly discussed the possibility that he’ll have to retire from the role eventually… so who could take over? Well, how about Mark Wahlberg?

In recent interview with Yahoo! Movies UK (watch it above) to drum up publicity for his action-comedy 2 Guns, Wahlberg was remarkably candid about the state of blockbusters these days, touching on the too-common “end of the world” plot running in so many of our summer movies and observing that “It’s all kinda the same s***.” 

When asked about which (if any) comic book or superhero roles he might see himself playing, Wahlberg replied:

“I would like to take over the ‘Iron Man’ franchise for Robert Downey… [but] it’s one of those things where I kind of like playing real people, [so] I’ve never been asked.”

Mark Wahlberg Iron Man Mark Wahlberg Wants to Play Iron Man After Robert Downey Jr. Retires

While the line does sound like he’s at least half-joking, Wahlberg might have been thinking about this line for awhile. He’s had an impressive and varied career, but his role in Transformers 4 is really the first time he’s been involved in a greased-up money-making machine established franchise (outside of Entourage, which he appeared in as himself and executive produced).

Wahlberg does note that he was apparently considered for the role of Robin in (presumably) Batman Forever, and acknowledges that “Somebody dodged a bullet!”  Max Payne was a non-starter as a potential series, a planned sequel to The Italian Job never happened, and the less said about Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, the better.

Marvel Studios is famous for securing talent for long-term, multi-picture deals (Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo for six films each, Samuel L. Jackson for nine) while “low-balling” their salaries (Mickey Rourke received $250,000 for his turn as the villain in Iron Man 2; RDJ famously received upwards of $50 million for his role in The Avengers while his co-stars earned significantly less). Negotiations with RDJ briefly hit an impasse, with Marvel president Kevin Feige telling Entertainment Weekly that he could see multiple actors playing Iron Man in future installments:

“I believe there will be a fourth ‘Iron Man’ and a fifth, sixth and a 10th and a 20th. I see no reason why Tony Stark can’t be as evergreen as James Bond, Batman, or for that matter, Spider-Man.”

Iron Man 3 Spoilers Mark Wahlberg Wants to Play Iron Man After Robert Downey Jr. Retires

The statement seemed like a clear signal to Downey and his court that Marvel was willing to replace him, and it was also a way to prepare fans for the eventuality that another actor would take the role – and sooner rather than later. Of course, the comment was more of a negotiating ploy than a real mission statement, as Downey soon signed on for The Avengers: Age of Ultron and the inevitable Avengers 3.

But as we pointed out above, Downey is aware of his age, and beyond that, he’s an actor who in his pre-Iron Man years was known for a run of interesting, grounded roles in movies like Zodiac, Wonder Boys, and Good Night, and Good Luck. After the first Iron Man propelled him into the stratosphere, he’s taken on another franchise with the Sherlock Holmes movies and high-concept studio fare like Due Date and Tropic Thunder.

Just as we’ll have to get used to a new Batman (soon), and a new James Bond (eventually), Downey will walk away from the role of Tony Stark/Iron Man at some point… but not until the end of the decade, at least. Wahlberg won’t be too much younger than Downey by then, but he arguably possesses a greater aptitude for the physicality required for the role, so the idea makes sense on that level. Still, Downey is the superstar of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is expected to keep the part at least until The Avengers 3, which is expected in 2018. If Transformers 4 manages to launch a whole new trilogy for that franchise, Wahlberg may want to stick with that.

What about you, Screen Ranters? Would Mark Wahlberg be able to erase our memories of RDJ and take up the power armor? Sound off!


Source: Yahoo! Movies UK

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
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  1. He may want to play the character but he’s just not right for the role.. He has never managed to act “inteligent” and part of the Tony Stark character’s charm is his level of genius. RDJ is currently the best actor for the role nad without him there is no Iron Man as far as I’m concerned.

  2. PLS God No No NO this is not Bond where u can replace the actors.This is Ironman so either keep RDJ as Tony or pass the duties on the Rhodey.

  3. Pffff, Hahahaha…. NO.

  4. NO! JUST NO!

    Mark Wahlberg playing a super genius?
    NO to Mark Wahlberg being Iron Man!!


    • @Stark.

      Whats the matter buddy? Do not want to have Mark Whalberg as your avatar? lol

      • @ King Moo Moo

        Yes, exactly! How ugly would that be? lol!

        Could you imagine him as Tony? I mean, it’s almost laughable, seriously. I agree with a comment from earlier that asked which was scarier, him playing Iron Man, or him not know that he can’t play Iron Man.

        The only possibe person, MAYBE that I could see doing it would be Colin Farell……maybe.

        Just say no to Mark Wahlberg (and drugs)!!

        • King Moo Moo?

          This is war!

          • @ King Moo Moo

            Be careful with that war talk, I’m building Ultron.

            • @Stark Build your Ultron

              I sent the instruction in Jive!

              You or JARVIS wont be able to translate!

  5. I’ll dismiss Wahlberg’s likeness for the role as a momentary lapse in judgement. Mark doesn’t suit the roll. he doesn’t have the suit swag needed to play a billionaire and lady’s man like Stark.

  6. So did Michael Jackson…

  7. Im with the above commentor he can go into a “coma” like thecomics so there is a senseof loss and rodey takes over for a phase. Then you bring in a guy who fits the bill in looks and performance or maybe a aged rdj changes his mind throws on some make up and rocks the roll again. Rdj leaving and rodey taking over is perfect and sounds like the phase 4 im4 to me!

  8. I just don’t think Walhlberg could pull him off. A role like Iron Man requires someone who can act intelligent yet cocky, brave, yet frighten at times, serious, yet playful at times and I just don’t see that in Walhlberg. He would have to pull a performance of his life for it and even though he has improved as an actor I just don’t think he has the chops to play the role. If they are going to replace RDJ as Iron Man then there are plenty of other actors that can fit the role better than MW.

  9. We’ll NO CRAP he’d like to play the roll……it’s a freaking cash cow that just about anyone would want to latch onto. But MY GOD he would be SOOO BAD for that roll. Marky Mark only has one acting style….”Tough guy”…..not Tony Stark material.

  10. No FREAKING way!!! He can’t act. Never understood why he get’s as much work as he does.

  11. I would love to see Terrence Howard back as Rhodey. For me, Don Cheadle still doesn’t cut out to be Rhodey. He seems to be the only guy out of place in the Iron man series. Terrence imparted a credible yearning to Rhodey to put on the suit and yet maintained his own in the first Iron man.

    • I hear you! Terrence Howard is a pain in the Butt to work with.He screwed himself out of a good role.

  12. No.

    I can take a new Batman. I’m fine with a new James Bond. I was willing to accept the new Spider-man. But RDJ IS TONY STARK.

    His main story has more or less wrapped up. Keep signing Robert for Avengers, but Iron Man is done. Marvel should honestly remember to do what it set out to do, which is to introduce its lesser- tier superheroes to film. We can’t have that if we go on till Iron Man 100: Repulsor Boogaloo.

  13. I’m I the only person to point out the fact that he wouldn’t fit in the Iron Suit? I know that Downy Jr isn’t the tallest dude out there – but Wahlberg just looks short!

    I’m also jumping on the band-waggon with everyone else who has noted that this role requires an actor that can actually ACT. (ie: The Happening)

  14. Neil Patrick Harris would own it.

  15. Ironman and the Funky I mean The Avengers!

  16. The only one I can see replacing RDJ is Dominic Cooper, he has the look of Tony Stark… he should be the only one in consideration. He already played Howard Stark.

    • I love RDJ a whole f*ckin lot, and for that same reason I do want to see him eventually move on to other roles. He’s an incredibly talented actor and it wouldn’t be fair to him to keep him strapped into this one role–with which he’s doing a MARVELous job, pun intended–but when he moves on I have no doubt that the studio will replace him well (i.e. NOT with mark wahlberg)

      • you don’t have to write pun intended when you capitalize the letters “MARVEL” of marvelous. LOL. People get it.

  17. Can Mark Wahlberg even grow a real mustache and goatee? :)

    As I’ve stated before, as much as we are attached to certain actors, the general public can accept recasts.

    As long as the story/movie/actor is decent, it’s okay.

    Michael Fassbender for Iron Man.

    Karl Urban for Tony Stark.


    • I personally know MW and he is a dick in real life such an arrogant ars hole if the publick only knew ….

  18. I think he is a good actor even if his last three films have sucked. However, I do agree with most that he would struggle trying to play the intelligent part of the engineer.

  19. BWaahahahahaha….NOOO

    He has to be dellusional, he is totally not right for this role.

    • He is a dough bag

  20. No, he’s not right, and I hope the next stark is a little less “wise-crack guy” and a little more of the “judgemental, brooding alcoholic” stark. Adrien Brody, or someone like him.

    bring on some real armors wars with suits that don’t blow up so easy. But for now I’m okay with RDJ closing out with A:AofU and A:3. I’m also okay with seeing Sam Rockwell’s Hammer again, he made me laugh! “I got u the bird!”

    • @ PittMan

      I really enjoyed Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer also, but it’s too bad they cast as Hammer, because now that I think of it, he might have made a decent Tony Stark/Iron Man. Part of the reeason he got the roll of Hammer in the first place was because he could keep up with RDJ’s wit/pace as Stark.

  21. they should take the storyline where Tony Stark becomes leader of shield. and no more iron man solo movies.RDJ can stay stark without worries for fysical restrictions in the avenger movies and if they want to have an iron man armor flying around take War Machine cgi or stunt doubles.

    sounds better than an actor who can never match Rdj’s portrayal of Iron Man.

  22. RDJ is tony stark. it is going to be hard to see anyone else in the role. Mark is not the guy that will make that transition any easier

  23. Horrible actor, he acts the same way in every role. Keanu Reeves is better lol

  24. No way. He’s not the right guy. I’ve always thought Leonardo DiCaprio would be great in the Iron Man role. See “The Aviator”.

  25. I’d say, give him a shot. Let’s see what he can do with Stark/Ironman. If he doesn’t do well, find someone else.

  26. I too am a fan of what RDJ has done with Ironman. But…we need to be realistic. No one will probably ever fill his shoes or mimic the character the way RDJ has. We need to except that one day he will be replaced. If we truly want these movies to continue then we need to be ready for it.

    I mean, heck, James Bond has been running for what, almost 40 years now? Batman has been recast plenty. And I really liked Bale and Keaton. Speaking of batman actors…Val Kilmer would be a good stark. He just needs to get in shape again. Think Mad Martegan from Willow mixed with Iceman from Top Gun!!!!!! ====== Good Stark!!!! Or maybe Cary Elwes?

  27. Hey guys look how shiny my new suit is! Alright, say hello to your mother for me.

  28. Walhberg is a decent, competent actor but is doing waaayy to many movies right now and needs to take a break