In somewhat surprising news, Michael Bay announced that Mark Wahlberg will star in his next giant blockbuster “Transformers 4.” The first three movies starred Shia LaBeouf as a human kid who befriends the giant robot aliens, only to find himself in the middle of a war between the Autobots and Decepticons. After three incredibly successful movies that made over $2.6 billion at the box office, Bay announced he was changing up the cast for the next installment.
“An actor of his caliber is the perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise and carry on the Transformers’ legacy,” Bay said of Wahlberg, who he just worked with on his new movie, “Pain and Gain.”
Looking over Wahlberg’s career, here is an examination of how he reinvented himself from a boy band rapper into an A-list superstar.
Mark Wahlberg and his brother Donnie broke into show business in the music industry. While his brother reached huge success as a member of The New Kids on the Block, Wahlberg started his own group called Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Now pretty much known as a one-hit wonder, Wahlberg wanted to break into film and, after some small movies, he received the role of the antagonist in “Fear.” Starring alongside Reese Witherspoon, Wahlberg played a charming man who turned out to be deadly and emotionally unbalanced.
While “Fear” got his foot into the door, it was P.T. Anderson’s “Boogie Nights” that made Wahlberg a star. In this film, Wahlberg portrays a young idealistic man who ends up as one of the porn industry’s biggest stars. Starring alongside John C. Reilly, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman, Wahlberg impressed a lot of people with his performance in a movie that received three Oscar nominations.
Two years later, Wahlberg starred with George Clooney and Ice Cube in the David O. Russell movie, “Three Kings.” The movie was about three members of the U.S. armed forces who try to steal some Iraqi gold only to find a group of innocent people in need of rescue, during a time where the U.S. was not allowed to aid them. The movie was a huge critical success and also began a long-term relationship between Russell and Wahlberg that resulted in a total of three films.
In 2006, Martin Scorsese was putting together his latest gangster movie, “The Departed,” and cast Wahlberg in a smaller role that had him play an angry, loud police officer with no filter between his mouth and his brain. The role showed that Wahlberg was not just a handsome leading man, but also a solid and sometimes intense actor. It also earned him his only Oscar nomination for acting.
The last step for Wahlberg was to show his comedic chops. He had showed hints of it before, but in the 2010 film “The Other Guys,” he proved to be very funny, keeping his own with Will Ferrell. This led to “Ted” in 2012, a shocking vulgar comedy about a man and his teddy bear that quickly became one of the highest grossing R-rated comedies of all time.
Mark Wahlberg has done action, drama and comedy, and now he has earned a spot as the lead of one of the most successful Hollywood blockbusters of all-time. Not bad for a former one-hit wonder.