Mark Wahlberg’s New Movie Will Easily Beat His First Villain Role From 28 Years Ago In 2 Huge Ways

Mark Wahlberg proved he can play a villain extremely well back in 1996, but his upcoming role as an antagonist could outperform it in several ways.

Mark Wahlberg as a young adult in Fear and later in life with a goatee set against a purple, blue, and red background
Custom image by Debanjana Chowdhury


 Wahlberg’s upcoming movie will give him a chance to take on an evil role again, a major shift from his usual hero characters.
 Wahlberg’s next villain role in Flight Risk, directed by Mel Gibson, is expected to outperform his past villainous performance in Fear in both its box office performance and critical reception.
 Flight Risk could reestablish Wahlberg as a box office draw and prove his range as an actor, opening up new opportunities for him.

Mark Wahlberg has only played a villain once before, but his upcoming movie will give him a chance to take on an evil role again, and it should be better than his first outing in two major ways. Wahlberg has had some great movies throughout his career, but he has only played a villain once. More often, he takes on the role of a hero, though that hasn’t always guaranteed his projects’ success. Recently, Wahlberg has had a bad streak both at the box office and with critics, but his next movie could fix those problems by giving him another role as a bad guy.

Wahlberg’s first villain role was in the 1996 movie Fear, where he played an obsessive stalker alongside Reese Witherspoon. By the ending of Fear, Wahlberg had proven himself as an excellent actor in villainous roles, but he hasn’t tried to play another bad guy since. One of Wahlberg’s upcoming movies could change that, though, and it could even beat Fear in two major ways. He was great in Fear, and it made viewers eager to see him as an antagonist again, but Wahlberg’s teases about his upcoming villain role make it even more promising.

Reese Witherspoon as Nicole and Mark Wahlberg as David set against a pink background with hearts in the 1996 psychological thriller Fear

Fear seems like a simple psychological thriller between Reese Witherspoon and Mark Wahlberg, but by its dramatic ending, it proves to be much deeper.

Mark Wahlberg’s Flight Risk Movie Should Beat Fear’s Rotten Tomatoes Score

Director Mel Gibson’s track record easily beats Fear’s lukewarm reception

Mark Wahlberg as David McCall and Reese Witherspoon as Nicole Walker in Fear.Custom Image by Sam MacLennan

Though Fear has found a new life in the age of streaming, when it was released, it was poorly received, earning only 46% on Rotten Tomatoes. Flight Risk, directed by Mel Gibson, will be Wahlberg’s next villain role, and it should easily outperform FearGibson has a tremendous track record with his previous projects, with all of them surpassing Fear‘s Rotten Tomatoes score. Only one of Gibson’s films, The Passion of the Christ, came close to scoring so low, which is a good sign for Flight Risk‘s chances of success, as he’s likely to continue his trend of making well-received movies.

Flight Risk does not have a confirmed release date, but the movie is said to currently be in post-production.

Mel Gibson’s Movies As Director
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score

The Man Without A Face


The Passion of the Christ


Hacksaw Ridge

Mark Wahlberg’s Flight Risk Should Easily Beat Fear’s Box Office

Gibson has made several financially successful movies, and Flight Risk could continue that trend

Mark Wahlberg as David and Reese Witherspoon as Nicole in Fear.Custom Image by Yeider Chacon

In addition to its lukewarm critical reception, Fear also had an underwhelming box office performance. According to Box Office Mojo, Fear only secured $20.8 million at theaters. While that was enough to make it a success against its $6.5 million budget, Flight Risk has the potential to be an even bigger hit. Only Gibson’s directorial debut, The Man Without a Face, failed to surpass $100 million in revenue, and Flight Risk is likely to continue his successful streak. Gibson is now a well-known and experienced director, so he’s more than capable of avoiding the problems that held The Man Without a Face back.

Mel Gibson’s Movies As Director
Box Office Performance

The Man Without A Face
$37 million

$213 million

$65-70 million

The Passion of the Christ
$612 million
$30 million

$120 million
$40 million

Hacksaw Ridge
$180 million
$40 million

Why Mark Wahlberg Playing A Villain Again Is Exciting (& Great For His Career)

It gives him a chance to play a role he hasn’t done in decades and fix his box office woes

Mark Wahlberg & Reese Witherspoon in Fear (1996)Steve (William Petersen) and Laura (Amy Brenneman) with duct tape over their mouths in FearMark Wahlberg & Reese Witherspoon in Fear (1996)Reese Witherspoon as Nicole Walker in Fear.Reese Witherspoon as Nicole Walker in Fear.

Depending on how successful Flight Risk proves to be, it could even reestablish Wahlberg as a box office draw.

Wahlberg’s return to a villainous role is exciting for two big reasons. The first was that Wahlberg truly excelled in Fear, and his portrayal of David McCall was one of the highlights of the film. He masterfully executed the nuances of David’s obsession and turned the character into a truly frightening figure. Giving Wahlberg a chance to replicate that performance is more than enough to make Flight Risk exciting. Audiences have also been waiting to see Wahlberg in another villain role for decades after his performance in Fear proved how much potential he had in that type of role, so Flight Risk could be something truly special.

The other main reason Flight Risk is so anticipated is because it should be a big boost to Wahlberg’s career. Wahlberg has a bad streak of box office flops currently, and Flight Risk could be the key to reversing his trend. If Gibson can continue his streak of directing profitable movies, Wahlberg could join in his success with Flight Risk. Depending on how successful it proves to be, it could even reestablish Wahlberg as a box office draw. That would be fantastic for his career, and it could give him new opportunities in big movies again.

Playing a villain again could also prove that Wahlberg still has range as an actor, and it could open up more new roles for him to explore. When he made Fear, Wahlberg had proven himself capable in several roles, from Boogie Nights to Three Kings, so Flight Risk could remind audiences of how he can perform in roles that are different from the ones he’s taken in recent years. Flight Risk is quickly becoming one of Wahlberg’s most important, and most exciting, roles in years.

Fear (1996)

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