Mark Wahlberg Wouldn't Mind Playing Iron Man

Mark Wahlberg

Listen, as much as we'd like to pretend otherwise, eventually there's going to come a day when no amount of money will be enough to keep Robert Downey, Jr. in Iron Man's armor -- and since the 48-year-old Downey is rapidly reaching the point of diminishing action hero returns anyway, Marvel needs to figure out how to replace the most irreplaceable part of its cinematic empire.

Mark Wahlberg would like to help.

The subject came up during a recent interview with Yahoo! Movies, during which Wahlberg -- who, we remind you, has starred in a number of fiction-based films, including the video game adaptation Max Payne -- said that while it's probably his proclivity for "real" characters that's kept him from being asked to don a superhero's costume, he'd still like to be invited to the Marvel party.

"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. Once I was kind of being talked about for the Robin role in Batman Forever — somebody dodged a bullet!"

As Wahlberg aficionados are already aware, he has a long history of making doofus statements in public, a tradition arguably crowned when he suggested that he might have been able to prevent the September 11 attacks if he'd only been on one of those planes, so his garbled thoughts vis a vis playing Iron Man aren't exactly surprising. They are pretty entertaining, though.

Still, once we're done chuckling, the idea of Wahlberg as Ol' Shell-Head does hold a certain appeal. The character's cocky and impossibly rich, qualities that Wahlberg seems to know a thing or two about, and he's certainly got the superhero build down pat. On the other hand, the whole thing is probably a moot point, given that Wahlberg isn't that much younger than Downey -- he just turned 42 -- so while he'd probably represent a substantial savings over the incumbent Iron Man, he wouldn't be a long-term solution.

All is not lost, however; with the way superhero movies are gobbling up cineplex screen space, Wahlberg's bound to be offered his own franchise eventually. Hmmm...who should he play?

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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