Former WWE superstar CM Punk has taken the inevitable plunge into Hollywood. After his loss to Mike Jackson at UFC 225, there was talk that the film industry would be his next destination, and now it’s confirmed.
Punk has completed his first starring role in the haunted thriller Girl on the Third Floor, and will next appear in the remake of David Cronenberg’s Rabid. Things are moving fast for him, though for longtime fans, it’s unsurprising that he’s made such a seamless transition. His charisma and gift of gab were always his strongest points in sports entertainment, after all.
Following in the footsteps of Dwayne Johnson and Dave Bautista, Punk now has the chance to prove himself as a major star on the biggest screen of them all. Additionally, much like his former colleagues, he might find superhero roles coming his way sooner than expected. In fact, he’d already been offered one in the past.
In 2015, Punk revealed to the Chicago Tribune that he auditioned for the part of Rocksteady in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, though the role ended up going to fellow WWE wrestler Sheamus. “I just assumed he’s a bigger dude, so they gave it to the big guy,” he said of why he missed out on the part. “It makes sense. They were looking for two big, muscly bouncer types. [Sheamus] fits the role.”
With the Fantastic Four coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Kevin Feige and his team will inevitably be looking for actors to bring Marvel’s First Family to life. While we’ve seen the likes of John Krasinski and Emily Blunt suggested for the roles of Reed and Sue Richards, and Zac Efron as Johnny Storm, what about Ben Grimm? The answer is: CM Punk.
It’s no secret that Punk is a massive comic book fan. He’s a regular at conventions, and has written for Vertigo and Marvel, including an 11-issue co-writing gig on Drax. More importantly, his ring entrance featured a callback to the Thing’s infamous line, with Punk yelling “It’s clobberin’ time!” before heading to the ring Numerous times, Punk spoke fondly of his affinity for the character as the reason why he used the line as part.
Now that he’s got one foot in the movie industry, there’s little doubt Hollywood will be eyeing him to join one franchise or another. Considering his passion and reverence for the comic book medium, Punk would likely jump at the chance to bring the Thing to the MCU. He possesses the necessary pedigree for the action side of things, but he’s also a pretty funny and charming guy when he isn’t punching faces. This combination fits Grimm’s tough-as-nails-but-heart-of-gold personality like a glove.
Of course, there are other actors worthy of Ben Grimm, but shouldn’t these parts go to people with a passion for the source material? Too often superhero roles go to actors who don’t care about the projects but more about the paycheck. This is why we see them wrangling for more money to appear in sequels or entire projects being derailed because of breakdowns in negotiations. In Punk’s case, he doesn’t need the money. He’s made his own fortune, so everything he does will be because he wants to do it.
The question is, would Marvel Studios be interested in him? Well, we’ve seen crazier things before, so anything is possible. Who knows, maybe we’ll see Bautista and Punk teaming up in a cosmic MCU adventure somewhere down the line.
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