Matt … Er, Mark Goes Bananas

So, if you can’t get Matt Damon for your movie, what’s a studio to do? Get the guy who kinda looks like Matt Damon. And so it has come to pass that Mark Wahlberg — a somewhat leathery-looking version of the “Good Will Hunting” golden boy — has been tapped to headline Fox’s long-awaited “Planet of the Apes” remake, The Hollywood Reporter says.

Damon‘s name had been floated in recent months as a possible “Apes” star. Then Wahlberg entered the game.

The 29-year-old former Calvin Klein underwear model, next up in “The Perfect Storm” (opening Friday), let the “Apes” deal out of the bag in a recent interview with

When asked if he was looking forward to taking a break from action flicks with “Ocean’s Eleven” (the Vegas heist flick he’s to make with George Clooney), Wahlberg replied: “‘Ocean’s Eleven‘ is gonna be easy. I’m looking forward to it. If I do ‘Planet of the Apes‘ with Tim Burton, that’s one I don’t know if I’ll get out of alive. But it shoots in Hawaii, so that’s cool.”

The all-new “Planet of the Apes” (as opposed to the all-original one from 1968 that spawned four sequels, a TV series and official line of trash cans) is set to start shooting this fall with Tim Burton (“Batman“) directing. A July 4, 2001, release is planned.