Mark Wahlberg Weighing "Metal" Role For Next Film

Mark Wahlberg may return to music for a new film he's considering, "Metal God," a project in which the rapper-turned-actor would portray a replacement singer hired by a veteran heavy metal band.

According to a report in "Variety," Wahlberg would star as the frontman of a metal tribute band who gets a chance to join the actual group after it dismisses its original vocalist.

The screenplay for "Metal God" was penned by John Stockwell and is said to be based upon the real-life story of Tim "Ripper" Owens, the daytime salesman who was chosen to replace Rob Halford in Judas Priest in 1996.

In a strange twist, Wahlberg was approached with the "replacement" part after Brad Pitt, who was originally cast as the soundalike singer, chose to pass on the film.

No director is currently attached to "Metal God," but the picture is being co-produced by George Clooney, who also co-stars with Wahlberg and rapper Ice Cube in the upcoming action-adventure film "Three Kings" due out in

the fall.

Mark, the brother of New Kids on the Block's Donnie Wahlberg, enjoyed a brief solo career in the early '90s as Marky Mark, recording such hit songs as "Good Vibrations" and "Wild Side" with his band, the Funky Bunch.

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