Mark Wahlberg Almost Played One Of Star Trek’s Most Important Roles

By Rudie Obias | Updated

When Mark Wahlberg was getting ready to start shooting Transformers: Age of Extinction with director Michael Bay in 2014, it was somewhat strange think about the actor taking on these kinds of summer, sci-fi, blockbuster roles. He’d had action movies, for sure, but this did seem like stepping into a new arena.

But it turns out that MarkWahlberg could have joined the sci-fi world in a potentially much bigger way just a few years before. That’s because he was in strong consideration for the role of James Kirk’s father in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot.

After reading the Star Trek script though, Mark Wahlberg passed on the role. Maybe this was a whoops? It’s kind of hard to tell.

In an interview with Total Film before the release of Transformers, Mark Wahlberg discussed the role of Captain George Kirk, and why he turned it down.

mark wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg said, “I love J.J. Abrams… I remember him asking me to play Captain Kirk’s father in Star Trek and I tried to read the script and I couldn’t understand the words, or the dialogue or anything so I said, ‘I couldn’t do this, I think you’re really talented but I can’t do it.'”

This is an honest and somewhat hilarious admission about not understanding some of the Star Trek verbiage just from the outset. It’s understandable for sure, though and it’s easy to forget now that J.J. Abrams wasn’t exactly the director then that he is now. Abrams was coming off of Misson: Impossible 3 and hadn’t yet done Star Trek or Star Wars. So there wouldn’t have been any benefit of the doubt from that perspective.

Mark Wahlberg explained, “And then I saw the movie and I said holy [shit], he did a great job. So I think he’ll do something spectacular [with Star Wars] and I probably wouldn’t pass up another opportunity to work with J.J. again so if he wanted me to do something and I couldn’t fully understand, I would probably give it a shot.”

chris hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth in Star Trek

It’s arguable that Chris Hemsworth‘s small but memorable role as George Kirk in Star Trek led him to star in Marvel’s Thor in 2011. No matter what, it was a big role for just a small part.

Although Mark Wahlberg’s career has been unbelievably successful, it seems like the actor had some regrets about not taking the opportunity to work with J.J. Abrams. Though it’s hard to fault him for passing. The role wasn’t huge and Wahlberg was already an established star at that point.

Hollywood is full of these “what if” moments, with actors and actresses turning down roles that seem like massive mistakes in retrospect. It’s not clear if this is one of them. And it might have been just a bit too distracting for fans to see Mark Wahlberg in a Star Trek film like this. There’s a good chance they would have hated it.

Star Trek Newsletter

Subscribe For Bold

Star Trek News

Expect a confirmation email if you "Engage!"