Mickey Rourke Stars in “The Wrestler” November 23, 2008Posted by skribbel24 in WWE.
The Wrestler is an upcoming film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Mickey Rourke, Ernest Miller, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood. Production began in January 2008. The film premiered at the 2008 Venice Film Festival and was a winner of the Golden Lion Award for Best Film. Fox Searchlight has acquired rights to distribute the film in the U.S., and will be released on December 17, 2008.
Randy “Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke) is a professional wrestler from the 1980s who is forced to retire after a heart attack threatens to kill him the next time he wrestles. He takes a job at a deli, attempts to form a relationship with an aging stripper (Marisa Tomei) and does his best to reconcile with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood). However, he is drawn to the prospect of a rematch with his old wrestling nemesis the Ayatollah (Ernest Miller), even though the fight may cost him his life.
The Wrestler was scripted by former The Onion writer Robert Siegel and entered development at director Darren Aronofsky’s Protozoa Pictures. Actor Nicolas Cage entered negotiations in October 2007 to star in the film’s lead role as Randy “Ram” Robinson, a former wrestler. The following month, Cage left the project after attending a Ring of Honor show in Manhattan, New York, and Mickey Rourke replaced the actor in the lead role. According to Darren Aronofsky, Cage pulled out of the Movie because Darren wanted Rourke as the lead character. Darren stated that Cage was “a complete gentleman, and he understood that my heart was with Mickey and he stepped aside. I have so much respect for Nic Cage as an actor and I think it really could have worked with Nic but… you know, Nic was incredibly supportive of Mickey and he is old friends with Mickey and really wanted to help with this opportunity, so he pulled himself out of the race.” Production began in January 2008, with filming taking place in New York and New Jersey. Scenes were also shot at New Alhambra Arena in Philadelphia. Afa Anoa’i, a former professional wrestler, was hired to train Rourke for his role. Anoai brought his two main trainers, Jon Trosky and Tom Farra to work with Rourke for eight weeks. Both trainers also have parts in the movie.