Wait, hear me out on this: picture Marky Mark as Marvel’s Sandman! No really! Mark Wahlberg could really work in the role, and we can prove it! Check out a new piece of fan art posted to Instagram, that visualizes the Uncharted actor as the Marvel villain and see what people are saying online about the fan-casting.
22-year-old Hungarian Photoshop artist m.design34 created the fan art depicting a very buff Mark Wahlberg as Flint Marko in mid-transformation into a sand state. It’s a great likeness, and it shows the real possibility that Wahlberg could pull the role off physically, with a little CGI help, of course. The comments section of the post was extremely positive in support of the casting. Instagram doesn’t show just how many people liked the post, but m.design34 has nearly 8,000 followers, and some of the responses received hundreds of likes. That means fans really want to see Wahlberg in the role.
“Awesome,” one fan posted in response to the art. Other commenters want to see Mark Wahlberg as another Marvel hero. “I wanna watch Mark Wahlberg roll like Wolverine or Ghost Rider,” one commenter said. A few, however, were less enthusiastic. One fan referred to Wahlberg as “Dollar Store Sandman” while another called him “Wish Sandman.” Still, fans seem largely supportive of the idea. There’s even a YouTube video (featured below) discussing the possibility, and it seems to support Wahlberg. Commenters seemed to like the idea, and as the YouTuber suggested, the other possible actor often mentioned for the role, John Cena, is too busy playing Peacemaker in the DC movie universe to cross over to Marvel now.
Now, we know what you’re thinking. There’s already a Sandman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thomas Hayden Church portrayed Flint Marko / Sandman in 2007’s Spider-Man 3, directed by Sam Raimi. He returned to the role – kind of – for last year’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, in which the fractured multiverse allowed him to cross over from the Raimi-verse (yes, that is a term some fans use) into the MCU Phase 4 universe. However, it doesn’t look like Church is interested in portraying Sandman again, and he didn’t even shoot scenes for No Way Home (more on that in a second). That leaves the door open for a new face, and Mark Wahlberg would be a solid choice to play the shape-shifting bad guy.
Screen Rant reported that Digital Domain VFX Supervisor Kelly Port told the YouTube channel Corridor Crew that neither Thomas Hayden Church nor Rhys Ifans returned to film scenes as Sandman or The Lizard for the film. In the case of Sandman, unused scenes of Church from Spider-Man 3 were used to digitally recreate him in human form, albeit briefly. Church has not commented on the film or his role, so he may not be keen to return. That opens the door for Mark Wahlberg.
The idea of Mark Wahlberg joining the MCU is not a new development. Back in 2020, the fan-casting website MyCast ran a poll speculating just that, with some fan art showing the possibilities as well. Perhaps the biggest plus to having Wahlberg play Sandman is the chemistry he shares with Spider-Man himself, Tom Holland, who just appeared with him in Uncharted. We even reported how they got along so well (even when a “gift” got a little embarrassing), that the idea of them working together again is likely.