Belfast Telegraph

Wahlberg wanted to make 50 Shades

Mark Wahlberg has admitted he was desperate to land the rights to the Fifty Shades Of Grey film - and joked he would have cast Brad Pitt.

The 2 Guns actor had hoped to produce the big screen adaptation of EL James' steamy novel, reported E! News.

However, Universal and Focus Features won the bidding war, and Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson have been cast as the film's leads - kinky businessman Christian Grey and his girlfriend Anastasia Steele.

Speaking during the Hollywood Reporter's Producers Roundtable, Mark said: "I almost fired my agent Ari [Emanuel] over [Fifty Shades] - not because I wanted to play the part. We were aware of the book from very early on, and we were close to securing the rights, and then we get into this bidding war.

"We were so close to having [it]. That was one of the few times I was going to fire Ari."

The film's producer Michael De Luca joked that the lead role in the novel "looks a lot like Mark Wahlberg".

But Mark, 42, quipped: "No, sounds like Brad Pitt to me."

He also mentioned Brad when asked why he chose to produce movies.

"I wanted to produce because I was never going to get the script first," he joked. "I had to wait for Brad Pitt to pass."

The Fifty Shades Of Grey movie will be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and will be released in 2015.

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