Mark Wahlberg was once in the running to play a young Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black 3.
In a recent episode of the ReelBlend podcast, trilogy director Barry Sonnenfeld detailed the story of The Fighter actor’s near-casting in the 2012 sci-fi action flick, in which the plot involved time travel to the late ’60s and called for a younger version of Jones, who starred as Agent K in the first two movies.
However, Sonnenfeld already had an actor in mind for the part – Josh Brolin.
“I thought Brolin looked and could sound like Tommy… I said to Brolin, ‘Hey, I think you’d be perfect as young Tommy Lee Jones.’ And he said, ‘Great! Sounds great. Send me a script,'” he recalled, according to cinemablend.com, before joking: “Brolin and Tommy have the biggest heads, physical heads, of any movie stars. Big heads make big movie stars. It’s just, like, a rule.”
Even still, Sonnenfeld momentarily considered Wahlberg for the part in order to appease the star’s influential agent, Ari Emanuel. Emanuel is chief executive officer of Endeavor, one of the most important media and talent agencies in Hollywood.
“(Emanuel) is really good friends with Mark Wahlberg. And he really wanted Mark Wahlberg to play young Tommy Lee Jones,” the filmmaker stated, before remembering how he continued to push for Brolin. “I got Brolin, and thank God, the studio backed me up. But they were really nervous about making Ari upset that I didn’t go with his guy.”
Yet, Sonnenfeld acknowledged Wahlberg was a strong contender for the role.
“Mark was lovely. He was great. He would have been great in the role. But I wanted Brolin,” he declared.
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