Nic Cage Out, Mickey Rourke In Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler
Don't get this confused with Darren Aronofsky's The Fighter, a different film starring Brad Pitt and Mark Wahlberg that apparently won't start filming until sometime in late 2008. The Wrestler is a whole other film that Aronofsky will direct starting next January. It's an indie drama about an over-the-hill grappler who returns to the ring for one last shot at glory. Nic Cage was supposed to star as Randy "The Ram" Robinson, but instead Mickey Rourke has taken the job.
With the way every last one of Nic Cage's movies have been going recently (The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider, and Next), it's certainly a good thing to get Rourke in there. I mean, just imagine, now we've got Marv from Sin City fighting in the ring?! And Rourke was once an actual real life boxer himself, bringing real world experience that will be an invaluable addition.
The script was written by Aronofsky and Robert Siegel. I guess Aronofsky realized that he needed to go mainstream to make some money and prove his abilities before going back to his own personal indie films like Requiem for a Dream. As we all know The Fountain far underperformed last year in theaters and on DVD, and sadly that had quite an impact on Aronofsky, despite being the best movie of 2006 hands down.
I really hope Aronofsky will deliver another instant classic while also staying a bit more mainstream with The Wrestler. Honestly, I think Rourke is a huge step in the right direction. One of Aronofsky's many genius abilities is choosing an absolutely perfect actor, as was apparent with Hugh Jackman in The Fountain. This time I think Rourke is a vastly better choice than Cage and it will all definitely pay off in the end.