Max Payne 2 Movie: 10 Celebrities Who Can Take On The Role of Max Payne

Bring the pain
Bring the pain

We need a Max Payne 2 movie to erase the travesty that is the first Max Payne film. But who'd fit the role of gaming's most depressing antihero?

Some of us have never seen the Max Payne movie. Those who have wish they hadn’t.

Starring Mark Wahlberg in the titular role and loosely based on the action-packed 2002 video game, the Max Payne film was an utter failure – universally loathed by critics, and abhorred by fans of the series who didn’t take too kindly to the liberties it took with the source material. I mean, come on… demons? Sure, one could say they’re just Max Payne’s hallucinations. But the inclusion of supernatural imagery in the film was as confusing as Wahlberg’s decision to appear in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening.

But what if the studios could make things right? What if they could make a Max Payne 2 movie that was more faithful to the game? With Wahlberg already considered a stain on the franchise, who would be his best replacement as Max Payne?

To remind you, here are a few images and trailers showing what Max Payne looks like, and what kind of guy he is.

Max 01

Max 02

Max 03

Max 04

We don’t really know what sequel Hollywood will adapt. They could go with Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, Max Payne 3, or even make up their own story. For this reason, we’ll be looking at actors between their mid 30s and mid 40s who fit the role of Max Payne.

10. Clive Owen


Sin City, a gritty crime noir based on a gritty crime noir series of graphic novels

Okay, so Clive Owen doesn’t really look like Max Payne. But go ahead and watch Shoot ‘Em Up and tell us that film isn’t a better Max Payne movie than the actual Max Payne movie. Owen plays another trigger-happy vigilante in 2005’s crime noir, Sin City, proving to us that he’s a natural with guns in both hands, putting bullet-sized holes in bad guys.

A great actor, he’s wowed us with impeccable performances in films like Children of Men. In the HBO biopic Hemingway & Gellhorn, he portrays the renowned author, Ernest Hemingway. Being 50, Owen might be a little too old for the eponymous role in the Max Payne 2 movie. But hey, if a 27-year-old Tobey Maguire can play a teenage Peter Parker in 2002’s Spider-Man, why not?


Say hello to my little friend


Only badasses can simultaneously drive and do something else (like gunning people down)... the rest of you, eyes on the road!!

9. Jake Gyllenhaal



Sometimes, shooting with a camera is just as thrilling as shooting with a gun

Jake Gyllenhaal is a versatile actor, having received numerous accolades for his diverse roles, ranging from a disgruntled soldier in Jarhead to a puzzle-solving genius preoccupied with catching a serial killer in Zodiac. Heck, he even won the lead role in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, so we know he’s down with doing video game movies.

In 2014’s Nightcrawler, Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a crazy-eyed freelance cameraman obsessed with shooting the most graphic crime scenes. It is this dark, creepy performance that proves he could make a great Max Payne. If only his voice were a little deeper!


There's a rumor going around that he's actually a vampire in this flick...



8. Manu Bennett


He sure knows how to look angry

Manu Bennett is the man who brings Slade Wilson to life in the first three seasons of the television series, Arrow. Dark and tortured, Wilson eventually turns to the dark side and becomes Deathstroke – one of DC Comic’s biggest villains.

And we all know how close to being a bad guy Max Payne is.

In addition to his gift for playing disturbed characters, Bennett also looks utterly convincing with guns, swords, and the bow and arrow. We don’t doubt he would rock the titular role in our imaginary Max Payne 2 movie.


"Excuse me while I 'water' this tree."


Survival expert

7. Michael C. Hall

Fans of television will know Michael C. Hall from Dexter, in which he plays the titular character – a blood spatter analyst working for the police department. But Dexter also has dark secret; he’s actually a serial killer, albeit one who only preys on bad guys.

Hall hasn’t been in many movies, but his performances in both Dexter and the HBO drama, Six Feet Under, showcase his acting prowess when it comes to depicting characters struggling with internal turmoil. For those reasons, we believe he’d make a worthy lead in the Max Payne 2 movie.


Another piece to add to his collection


Night stalker

6. Paul Rudd


Not a funny situation

What is a comedian like Paul Rudd doing on this list??

Sure, Rudd may seem a little too pretty for the titular role in the Max Payne 2 movie. But that’s nothing a few days of stubble and greasy, unwashed hair can’t fix. Put on a few more pounds of muscle, and looks-wise, he’d be an excellent pick to star as gaming’s most depressing antihero.

Also, he’ll be appearing in Marvel’s Ant-Man, so Rudd isn’t above flexing those muscles for more physical roles. We think every comedian needs at least one gritty crime noir in his movie repertoire, so we’re counting Rudd in!


Hiding the cuts and bruises



5. Hugh Jackman


Looking intense, as always

Wolveri- er, Hugh Jackman would make a terrific Max Payne, for obvious reasons. Playing geekdom’s most beloved X-Man has proven he has what it takes to assume the role of a conflicted hero who isn’t above making evildoers bleed. Jackman’s Wolverine is the consummate badass. And yet, under that rough exterior, he possesses a tenderness only those closest to him have known. Sounds like Max Payne, if you ask us!

Jackman’s also been Van Helsing, done voice work for animated films like Happy Feet, stretched his vocal cords as Jean Valjean in the musical Les Miserables, and appeared in a variety of romantic comedies. With such a varied repertoire under his belt, playing everyone’s favorite bullet time antihero in the Max Payne 2 movie should be a cinch for Jackman.


In between disemboweling bad guys, Wolverine takes time to hit the gym


That 70s look

4. Christian Bale


Yes, yes, we know you're Batman!

Batman is the poster boy for all things dark and gritty, and Christian Bale in Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is the ultimate Batman (so far). Know another character who’s just as grim and obsessed with vengeance? Max Payne.

It’s scary how convincing Bale is whenever he assumes the role of a tortured soul, bringing out his own darkness in characters like Bruce Wayne, Terminator Salvation’s John Connor, and the murderous Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.

And everyone knows how Bale lost 62 pounds in four months to play the troubled Trevor Reznik in the critically acclaimed The Machinist. His dedication to his craft is the stuff of Hollywood legend, and how we know he’d bring his all to his Max Payne characterization.


Looking for something to shoot


Rocking the goatee

3. Richard Armitage



Rain, dark clothes... all you need is the moonlight, and this could be a screenshot of the Max Payne 2 movie!

We know Richard Armitage best from his stint in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy as Thorin Oakenshield. His portrayal of the deposed Dwarven king as both honorable and sympathetic yet struggling with internal turmoil endeared the character to audiences worldwide and ensured his place in the history of fantasy cinema.

And though it’s hard to imagine the man under all that unwashed Dwarven hair and thick eyebrows, he does resemble a young, handsome Max Payne circa Max Payne 2.

Armitage hasn’t been in many films, but he has plenty of experience in theatre and television. In season 3 of the horror series Hannibal, he portrays the serial killer Francis Dolaryhyde – another dark, angry character wrestling with his inner demons.


"This way, people!"


You need a change of clothes, man

2. Michael Fassbender



"Say goodbye!"

You know why Michael Fassbender is on this list. He’s one of the most sought-after action stars today. To us nerds, his most notable role was Magneto in X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, where he embodied the villain’s intensity and radical idealism perfectly. Thanks to his appearance in those films, and others like Inglorious Basterds and 12 Years a Slave, we know he’s got the acting chops for the job. As for physique, and the athleticism required to do all those fancy dives Max Payne is famous for? Let us remind you that he was in 300, where he played a sweaty, half-naked muscle man.

He is also co-producing and is set to star in 2016’s Assassin’s Creed adaptation, so we know he has respect for the video game industry. Maybe afterwards, he can star in the Max Payne 2 movie!


Talk to the hand


"Where's my damn helmet?"

1. Jon Hamm


Darker than black

Jon Hamm, who is best known for portraying Don Draper in the renowned television drama Mad Men, is not exactly an action star. But his work in said show brings to the fore his remarkable acting ability, and his keen understanding of the darkness that lies within the characters he depicts.

Draper may be a wealthy advertising executive, but he has his fair share of ghosts haunting him. He is often seen flirting not only with women, but with despair; it is rare to watch the man without wondering how he will eventually push himself over the edge, and when.

If you think about it, that is exactly the kind of man Max Payne is. The only difference between them? Max Payne’s problems can be solved with a gun.

And heck, Jon Hamm is the splitting image of Max Payne in the second game. He even has the voice! For all these reasons, we think Jon Hamm would be the perfect lead role in the Max Payne 2 movie.


Jon Hamm's reaction upon seeing Mark Whalberg's Max Payne


"I will creep you out with this smile."


"My wife and child are dead."

What do you think, pc gamers? Who else would make a good Max Payne in the Max Payne 2 movie? Tell us in the comments section below!

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Writer, Gamer, Dreamer
Gamer Since: 1986
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Bloodborne, Mortal Kombat X, Tera Online
Top 3 Favorite Games:Dark Souls II, Bioshock Infinite, Dragon Age: Inquisition

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